IS BANNON ON THE WAY OUT? p.17
THE LAST WORD
Trying to save a daughter from heroin
Her war on Hollywood’s sexism p.10
THE BEST OF THE U.S. AND INTERNATIONAL MEDIA
Blowing up a bromance Will Trump’s Syria strike turn Putin into his enemy? Pages 4, 6, 15
APRIL 21, 2017 VOLUME 17 ISSUE 818 ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT EVERYTHING THAT MATTERS
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Editor’s letter A century ago this month, President Woodrow Wilson persuaded a reluctant nation to jump into the carnage of World War I. A major, anti-militarist movement had challenged the wisdom of sending America’s young men to die on European killing fields over a dispute that was not ours, but the idealistic Wilson decided an intervention was necessary to make the world “safe for democracy.” Our nation has been having that same debate ever since, from World War II through Korea, Vietnam, Serbia, and Iraq. Less than 100 days into an “America First” presidency, the intervention dilemma is back. President Trump launched a barrage of 59 Tomahawk missiles last week after being moved by grotesque images of Syrian children dying in a chemical gas attack. (See Main Stories and Controversy.) Now his administration is warning North Korea’s provocative Kim Jong Un that he, too, may suffer the new sheriff’s wrath. (See The World at a Glance.)
Every war launched on idealistic principles, we have learned, yields unintended consequences. Toppling the tyrant Saddam Hussein shattered Iraq and destabilized the entire Middle East, and gave rise to the horrors of ISIS. But doing nothing in the face of mass slaughter can bring its own regrets. Bill Clinton has conceded he might have saved 300,000 lives had he intervened in Rwanda’s genocide; Barack Obama’s refusal to do “stupid s---” in Syria made us spectators to 500,000 deaths and a massive wave of refugees that destabilized Europe. Now a new president stands at a crossroads between isolationism and interventionism, having tasted the rewarding purity of a punitive missile strike against a tyrant who kills kids. With gridlocked domestic politics so frustrating, will Trump seek satisfaction abroad, as commander in chief of the world’s mightiest military? As several previous presidents can attest, a righteous war can William Falk Editor-in-chief make a president more popular...until it doesn’t.
NEWS 4 Main stories Tensions increase between Russia and the U.S. over Syria; Neil Gorsuch takes a seat on the Supreme Court 6
Controversy of the week Is the Syria missile strike a sign of Trump’s new foreign policy doctrine? The U.S. at a glance Alabama’s “Love Gov” quits; FBI surveillance of a Trump adviser The world at a glance Russian hacker arrested in Spain; North Korea threatens the U.S. People Geena Davis battles media sexism; why Barry Manilow stayed in the closet for so long Briefing The history of the Environmental Protection Agency, and its uncertain future under Trump Best U.S. columns It’s time to kill the ﬁlibuster; how Trump can ﬁx Obamacare Best European columns Will a terrorist attack change tolerant Sweden? Talking points United Airlines’ bloody PR disaster; Steve Bannon vs. Jared Kushner; should Hillary Clinton disappear?
Editor-in-chief: William Falk Managing editors: Theunis Bates, Carolyn O’Hara Deputy editor/International: Susan Caskie Deputy editor/Arts: Chris Mitchell Senior editors: Harry Byford, Alex Dalenberg, Richard Jerome, Dale Obbie, Hallie Stiller, Frances Weaver Art director: Dan Josephs Photo editor: Loren Talbot Copy editors: Jane A. Halsey, Jay Wilkins Chief researcher: Christina Colizza Contributing editors: Ryan Devlin, Bruno Maddox VP, publisher: John Guehl
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and his Russian counterpart (p.4)
ARTS 21 Books The many revivals of American evangelism 22 Author of the week Thriller writer Greg Iles delves into his hometown’s racist past 23 Art & Stage The photographer who chronicled life in a Jewish ghetto in World War II 24 Film Anne Hathaway ﬁnds her inner monster in Colossal
Geena Davis (p.10)
LEISURE 26 Food & Drink A spicy Burmese stir-fry with a Thai twist 27 Travel Dropping anchor in the British Virgin Islands 28 Consumer Stylish pet furniture for cool cats and dogs BUSINESS 32 News at a glance Janet Yellen puts the economy on cruise control; Tesla’s parking nightmare 33 Making money How parents can raise ﬁnancially savvy kids 34 Best columns Republicans and Democrats see a different economy; the student loan debt bomb
VP, marketing: Tara Mitchell Sales development director: Samuel Homburger Account director: Steve Mumford Account managers: Shelley Adler, Alison Fernandez Detroit director: Lisa Budnick Midwest director: Lauren Ross Southeast director: Jana Robinson West Coast directors: James Horan, Rebecca Treadwell Integrated marketing director: Nikki Ettore Integrated associate marketing director: Betsy Connors Integrated marketing managers: Matthew Flynn, Caila Litman Research and insights manager: Joan Cheung Marketing designer: Triona Moynihan Marketing coordinator: Reisa Feigenbaum Digital director: Garrett Markley Senior digital account manager: Yuliya Spektorsky Digital planner: Jennifer Riddell Chief operating & financial officer: Kevin E. Morgan Director of financial reporting: Arielle Starkman EVP, consumer marketing & products: Sara O’Connor Consumer marketing director: Leslie Guarnieri Production manager: Kyle Christine Darnell HR/operations manager: Joy Hart Adviser: Ian Leggett Chairman: John M. Lagana U.K. founding editor: Jolyon Connell Company founder: Felix Dennis
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THE WEEK April 21, 2017
The main stories...
Syria attack widens U.S.-Russia rift “that Trump’s action was cheered from Britain to Germany and from The U.S. and Russia traded sharp Israel to Japan.” warnings on Syria this week as Secretary of State Rex Tillerson met with Trump’s “breathtaking turnhis Russian counterpart in Moscow, around” from his previous days after President Trump ordered “America First” isolationism is a military strike on a Syrian air base deeply unsettling, said The New in retaliation for a chemical weapons York Times. When the Syrian presiattack by President Bashar al-Assad’s dent unleashed a much deadlier regime. More than 80 civilians were chemical attack in 2013, killing killed in the sarin gas attack on the 1,400 people, Trump urged Obama rebel-held town of Khan Sheikhoun, not to retaliate. His whiplash turn many of them children. The White raises a host of questions: Was the House accused Russia of carrying strike legal without congressional out a “disinformation campaign” to authorization? “Was it an impetucover up its ally’s use of the deadly Remnants of a Syrian plane destroyed in U.S. missile attack ous, isolated response” to images of nerve agent, and Tillerson said President Vladimir Putin had to surrender his support for Assad to have dying babies, or part of “a larger strategy?” any chance of better relations with the U.S. and the West. Russian What the columnists said Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov denounced the U.S. strike as “illegal,” and warned the Trump administration not to attack the Syr- “Trump made all the right calls” on Syria, said Walter Russell ian regime in the future. “We believe it is fundamentally important Mead in WSJ.com. Assad’s chemical attack was a probe “to test the mettle of the new White House.” By selecting a limited but symbolnot to let these actions happen again,” Lavrov said. ically powerful response, Trump successfully “vindicated America’s prestige” and reassured nervous allies. It was the president’s ﬁrst After Syria’s chemical weapons attack, two Navy destroyers in serious foreign-policy test—and “he passed with ﬂying colors.” the eastern Mediterranean ﬁred 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles at the Shayrat Air Base—home to the warplanes that carried out the “It’ll take more than a missile strike to clean up Obama’s mess in chemical attack. U.S. ofﬁcials claimed the cruise missiles destroyed Syria,” said Robert Kagan in The Washington Post. Obama should 20 percent of Syria’s operational aircraft. In a televised address, have punished Assad when the Syrian president ﬁrst crossed the Trump said he had acted to protect the “vital national security famous “red line” of a chemical attack. Instead, Obama struck a interest of the U.S.,” because Assad had violated international clearly empty deal with Russia to get rid of Syria’s chemical weapchemical weapons agreements. The Syrian president, Trump said, ons stockpile. His refusal to intervene opened the door for both had “choked out the lives” of helpless civilians, including “beautiRussia and Iran to move military assets into Syria to save Assad’s ful babies,” and was “an animal” and “truly evil person.” genocidal regime from collapse. Trump now needs to follow up with “a comprehensive political, diplomatic, and military strategy The administration gave several conﬂicting messages about its to rebalance the situation in Syria in America’s favor.” new policy on Syria. Defense Secretary James Mattis said additional strikes were possible if Assad used chemicals weapons So much for the Trump-Putin bromance, said L. Todd Wood in again, but that the U.S. had no intention of entering “the most The Washington Times. “In one brilliant stroke,” Trump put complex civil war raging on the planet.” But Tillerson said that Assad on notice, “called out Russia’s support of his barbarism in a Assad had no future, and that his reign was “coming to an end.” very public way,” and “drove a stake in the heart of the ‘Trump’s Putin, who held his own private meeting with Tillerson, said the a Putin puppet’ narrative.” Trump and Putin’s relationship will chemical attack on Khan Sheikhoun was staged, and that the reonly get frostier if the U.S. pushes for Assad’s removal, said Philip lationship between Russia and the U.S. had only worsened under Gordon in WashingtonPost.com. Trump. “The working level of trust… To Russia’s paranoid authoritarian has deteriorated,” said Putin. What next? leader, “the very concept of regime Assad’s response to the missile attack “will tell us change is anathema.” What the editorials said a great deal,” said Hal Brands in Bloomberg.com. The liberal theory that “Trump is a If the Syrian president is more savage than straLet’s remember that Trump’s missile prisoner of Vladimir Putin is looking tegic, he will show his defiance by increasing his strike really changes nothing in Syria, less credible by the day,” said The Wall attacks on rebel-held areas, and perhaps even use said Max Boot in ForeignPolicy Street Journal. After initially deciding chemical weapons again. That might finally turn .com. The president said this week, to continue President Obama’s passivthe international community against him and elicit “We’re not going into Syria,” and ity regarding Assad’s atrocities, Trump the ousting “he has so far managed to avoid,” has shown no appetite for forging “a shocked and angered Putin by deliverdespite his role in 500,000 deaths. But if he takes comprehensive diplomatic-military ing a retaliatory strike that “the world’s the hint and lies low for a while, feigning an interplan” to end the six-year civil war. thugs will notice.” Assad will think est in negotiating with the opposition, Assad “may Assad remains free to slaughter civiltwice about using deadly gas again, said be able to escape the noose once again—and ians with conventional weapons and The Washington Post, and U.S. allies perhaps even return to the less spectacular forms barrel bombs. “If there is a coherent have reason to hope that “Trump will of murder that the international community has administration strategy, it is imposﬁll the leadership vacuum in the Middle proven willing to tolerate for more than six years.” sible to discern.” East and beyond.” It’s no wonder, then, THE WEEK April 21, 2017
Illustration by Fred Harper. Cover photos from Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post, Alamy, Getty
... and how they were covered
Gorsuch tilts Supreme Court back to the right What happened
Texas, Globe-News. Remember that it was the supposedly right-leaning Roberts Neil Gorsuch was sworn in this week as who “cast the deciding 5-4 vote unleashthe 113th justice of the Supreme Court, ing Obamacare on the country in 2012.” restoring a 5-4 conservative majority after After asserting in conﬁrmation hearings a yearlong partisan ﬁght over the seat. that justices, like umpires, “don’t make A former Colorado appeals court judge, the rules; they apply them,” Roberts then Gorsuch, 49, was administered the oath decided that the Constitution “includes a by Justice Anthony Kennedy—for whom mandate for health-care coverage.” For he once clerked—in the White House Rose all his conservative bona ﬁdes, Gorsuch Garden, as President Trump and the seven could turn out be another Roberts. other justices looked on. Calling high court appointments “the most important What the columnists said thing” a president does, Trump said, “I Conservatives will soon learn where Gorgot it done in the ﬁrst 100 days. You think Gorsuch is sworn in by Justice Kennedy. such stands, said Hans von Spakovsky that’s easy?” Gorsuch’s ascent was hardly that. After conservative Justice Antonin Scalia died last year, Senate in FoxNews.com. The court will hear Trinity Lutheran Church of Columbia v. Pauley next week, a case of “blatant religious Republicans refused to act on President Obama’s nominee, Judge discrimination” in which Missouri denied a state grant to a churchMerrick Garland. When Trump tapped Gorsuch, furious Demorun preschool that wanted to resurface its playground, claiming crats retaliated with an unprecedented Senate ﬁlibuster, prompting the payment would violate the separation of church and state. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) to invoke the “nuclear Gorsuch’s decision in favor of Hobby Lobby as a lower court judge option,” eliminating ﬁlibusters of Supreme Court nominees and letting them be conﬁrmed with a simple majority. The ﬁnal vote for suggests he’s committed to religious freedom as a constitutional Gorsuch was 54-45, the narrowest since Clarence Thomas’ 25 years right and will “prevent an injustice from occurring” in this case. ago. The new justice assumed his robes with humility, remarking, “Gorsuch’s views on ‘natural law’ could shape his opinions,” said “The seat I inherit today is that of a very, very great man.” J. Paul Kelleher in Vox.com. While often described as an “originalist” who adheres strictly to the intent of the constitutional framers, Gorsuch could make an immediate impact. Next week, the court Gorsuch also believes that nature has a purpose that can be disbegins its ﬁnal round of oral arguments for the term, and will hear cerned, and that judges can use a “moral ﬁlter” to decide whether a religious freedom case out of Missouri concerning the use of state a statute is right or wrong. In a 2006 book, Gorsuch used natural funds by churches. In coming months, Gorsuch could hear a case addressing whether businesses can refuse to provide wedding services law to condemn physician-assisted suicide. In future, he could apply this moralistic prism to settled laws—including Roe v. Wade. to same-sex couples, as well as one on Trump’s travel ban.
What the editorials said Gorsuch joins a court that is “increasingly and more openly partisan,” said The New York Times. Justices now routinely split along party lines “on politically fraught decisions” like the Citizens United campaign-ﬁnance ruling and the Hobby Lobby case on mandated birth control coverage. Chief Justice John Roberts has said that close, ideologically divided rulings “undermine public trust” in the court’s impartiality. Will Gorsuch’s arrival lead to more “5-4 decisions that serve narrow conservative interests?” “Don’t start the party just yet, conservatives,” said the Amarillo,
It wasn’t all bad QJohn O’Rourke will never forget his wedding day. The Indiana police officer was grabbing some breakfast at a doughnut shop before his nuptials when he noticed that a crowd had gathered around a 3-year-old who was having a seizure. O’Rourke immediately leaped into action, instructing a bystander to call 911 and performing CPR on the young girl, who regained consciousness just as paramedics arrived. To thank him for his heroic efforts, the restaurant offered him a free box of doughnuts. “It had to be a doughnut shop,” said officer O’Rourke. “You can’t make this up.”
Although Gorsuch has only just been sworn in, Republicans are now “plotting to ﬁll the next vacancy,” said Richard Hasen in the Los Angeles Times. Trump has already made overtures to Kennedy— possibly through Kennedy’s son, Justin, who knows Donald Jr.—“to get him to feel comfortable with retirement.” And the White House is surely keeping tabs on the 84-year-old Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Without the ﬁlibuster, Democrats will be powerless to stop nominees “even more conservative than Gorsuch”; eventually, Roberts could be the closest thing to a swing vote. To keep the court from veering far right, Democrats have “to pray for the current justices’ good health”—then take back the presidency and the Senate.
QJack Reynolds refuses to act his age. The great-grandfather
from northern England celebrated his 105th birthday last week by becoming the world’s oldest person to ride a roller coaster. Wearing a sweatshirt emblazoned with the phrase “It’s my party and I’ll scream if I want to,” Reynolds took a spin on the Twistosaurus coaster at the Flamingo Land theme park. “It were OK,” the former railway worker said as he disembarked. “I’m going for another ride in a minute!” It was his second world record: Last year, at 104, he became the oldest person to get a tattoo. The thrill-seeking centenarian
QAn Alaska teen is being hailed as a hero after he jumped into a freezing river to rescue a 5-yearold boy from the fast-flowing water. Riley John, 14, was hanging out with friends in a Juneau park when he saw young Mason Varner, who was walking with his babysitter, slip on a path and fall down a 15-foot slope into Gold Creek. Without hesitating, Riley jumped in after Mason and, with the help of his friends, pulled him to safety. “I really don’t know what I was thinking,” said Riley, who received an award from the Alaska governor’s office for his bravery. “I reacted as fast I could.” THE WEEK April 21, 2017
Controversy of the week
Syria: Is there a new ‘Trump Doctrine’? Financial Times, and it’s fully consistent with Trump’s America “What a difference a few days have made,” said Scott First foreign policy. Weapons of mass destruction threaten all Lehigh in The Boston Globe. Until last week, Donald humanity, Americans included. Trump wants the world to Trump was a staunch isolationist with a two-word forknow that when WMD enter the equation, “the U.S. is preeign policy: “America First.” In 2013, when President pared to act.” Obama was mulling a military response to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s first use of chemical weapons, That “sounds suspiciously like the Bush Doctrine,” Trump actually tweeted: “We should stay the hell out of said Aaron Blake in WashingtonPost.com. If we’re Syria!” Then came last week. To applause from neocons going to start attacking countries over WMD and liberal humanitarians but to the dismay of his most again, as George W. Bush did with Iraq, should ardent, nationalist fans, Trump launched cruise missiles we be bracing for war with North Korea? Or against Syria to punish Assad for a second, smaller Iran? Trump differs from Bush in at least one nerve-gas attack. At the same time, he sent a U.S. Navy important way, said Ross Douthat in NYTimes strike force steaming toward North Korea. Like many .com. The current president’s main foreign policy Trump supporters, “I am in shock,” said Christopher Unpredictability as a virtue advisers—James Mattis and H.R. McMaster—are Roach in TheFederalist.com. We voted for him partly generals, not civilians. In one sense this is reassuring: Soldiers are because he vowed to keep our country out of no-win wars like Iraq and Libya, but now we’re seeing him “transform into a knee- “less prone to grand ideological ambitions” than “experts’’ who’ve jerk interventionist” before our eyes. Chief strategist Steve Bannon, spent their lives behind desks. But military men also have “a strong bias toward, well, military solutions.” The “great peril” of this the architect of Trump’s nationalist agenda, is reportedly losing presidency is not Trump’s amorphous foreign-policy views, but “an influence in the White House, as Trump relies on advice from Manhattan globalists Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump. If Trump’s accidental escalation that his generals encourage, and that the ultiforeign policy keeps heading in this conventional direction, “we’ve mate decider has no idea how to stop.” been subjected to the biggest bait and switch of all time.” The danger is even graver than that, said Jeet Heer in NewRepublic .com. Trump doesn’t have a clear foreign-policy vision, but he Trump deceived no one, said Howard Warner in American does have a bottomless craving for adulation. He may have upset Thinker.com. Restoring our military preeminence was always his fans on the isolationist far right last week, but the praise he’s part of “what he meant by making America great again.” The received from mainstream Republicans, Democrats, and the media Syrian missile strike made the “Trump Doctrine” clear to a host makes it likely “Trump will take the wrong lesson from his Syrian of potential adversaries, including Iran, North Korea, and China: adventure.” He may now go actively looking for opportunities After the passive dithering of the Obama years, there is “a new to display his manly belligerence. “Trump could start a conflict sheriff in town”—one who’s not afraid to use force when negotiations fail. The strike against Syria was “the right thing” to do, said anywhere; truly anything is possible from the man who considers former Obama administration official Anne-Marie Slaughter in the unpredictability the ultimate virtue.”
QA professional musician
was kicked off an American Airlines flight after his cello was declared a safety risk. John Kaboff bought an extra ticket so he could strap his $100,000 instrument into the seat next to him for a trip from Washington, D.C., to Chicago. But the flight crew deemed it unsafe and ordered Kaboff off the plane, “like I just committed a crime,” he said. The airline later promised to refund the cello’s ticket. QA Delaware state legislator
walked out of a senate session because it opened with a Muslim prayer. Republican Dave Lawson called the prayer “despicable” because “the Quran calls for the death of Americans.” Critics called his statements inaccurate and accused him of inciting Islamophobia, but Lawson said he was exercising his “constitutional right to protest.’’ THE WEEK April 21, 2017
Good week for: Irony, after officials at the Kentucky Coal Museum decided to
install solar panels on the building’s roof to lower electricity costs. “Coal comes from nature, the sun rays come from nature,” explained a museum founder. “So it all works out.’’ Gamesmanship, after the University of Utah became the first major sports college to offer scholarships to competitive video gamers, as it creates a varsity gaming team. Lobbying opportunities, after Sesame Street producers agreed to send one of the show’s costumed characters to the annual White House Easter Egg Roll, despite the Trump administration’s plans to cut all federal funding for PBS and the program.
Bad week for: Sean Spicer, the White House press secretary, who said Syrian President Bashar al-Assad was worse than Hitler, because the Nazi leader “didn’t even sink to using chemical weapons”—forgetting that Hitler killed millions of Jews with poison gas. Spicer later apologized, noting, “I got into a topic I shouldn’t have.’’ Dallas, after an anonymous hacker caused all 156 emergency tornado sirens in the city to simultaneously sound off just before midnight and shriek for 90 minutes, waking up more than 1 million residents and flooding 911 with panicked calls. Customer relations, after makers of an internet-enabled garage door opener responded to a customer’s negative online review by disabling his device. Citing the customer’s “abusive language,” the company, Garadget, said it would not “tolerate any tantrums” and canceled his server connection.
Boring but important Discriminatory Texas voter ID law A federal judge ruled again this week that a Texas voter ID law intentionally discriminates against minorities, raising the likelihood that the state could be put back under federal voting rights oversight. U.S. District Judge Nelva Gonzales Ramos delivered the same ruling in 2014, but she was ordered by a federal appeals court to review her decision. In her latest ruling, Ramos found that the 2011 state law—which requires voters to show one of seven specific types of photo ID—was “unduly strict” and seemed to be designed to exclude minorities. Handgun licenses are permissible under the law, for example, but not state government ID. Texas said the law was designed to combat voter fraud, and that it would probably appeal. AP
Only in America
The U.S. at a glance ...
Newscom (3), Getty
San Bernardino, Calif. Elementary school shooting: A teacher and her 8-year-old student were fatally shot this week when the woman’s husband walked into her special-needs classroom and opened fire. Karen Parents outside the school Elaine Smith and Cedric Anderson, both 53, had been married just two months when he carried out his attack at North Park Elementary School in San Bernardino. The couple had recently separated, and Smith was hiding at a relative’s home out of concern about Anderson’s threatening behavior, said San Bernardino’s police chief. During the attack, Anderson pulled out a Smith & Wesson .357 magnum revolver and fired 10 shots before turning the gun on himself. Two students were struck by bullets; 8-year-old Jonathan Martinez was airlifted to the hospital and died. Martinez was born with a genetic condition known as Williams syndrome, but “was always happy,” said one of the student’s parents, “even if he was sick.” Wichita and Atlanta GOP close calls: Republicans managed to narrowly hold on to the Kansas congressional seat vacated by CIA Director Mike Pompeo in a special election this week, as they scrambled to secure victory in another crucial upcoming redTough race: Estes state race in Georgia. The two special elections are widely seen as the first referendums on the Trump administration. In Kansas’ 4th Congressional District, State Treasurer Ron Estes defeated civil rights lawyer James Thompson by 7 points. Trump won Kansas by 27 points in November, and posted a last-minute tweet of support to Estes the day of the special election. In Georgia’s April 18 contest to succeed Tom Price, who resigned to serve as Trump’s Health and Human Services secretary, first-time Democratic candidate Jon Ossoff, 30, was leading the field of five Democrats and 11 Republicans. The seat, in Georgia’s 6th District, has not been held by a Democrat in nearly four decades.
Marquette, Mich. Tragic prank: A 13-year-old girl in Michigan is facing criminal charges after playing a social media prank on her boyfriend that led to his suicide. Tysen Benz, 11, was at his Marquette home texting and Snapchatting when he allegedly received messages, sent by his girlfriend from someone else’s phone, pretending that she had died. Distraught, Benz replied that he was going to kill himself, too, and no one did anything to stop him, said his mother, Katrina Goss. When Goss went to Tysen’s room to tuck him in that evening, he wasn’t in his bed. “I thought he was being silly,” said Goss. She found him hanging in the closet. “I tried to lift him up,” Goss said. “I was screaming.” The paramedics were able to revive Tysen, but he died after a three-week hospitalization. The unnamed girl has been charged with malicious use of telecommunication services and using a computer to commit a crime.
Montgomery, Ala. ‘Love Gov’ quits: Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley resigned this week and promised to never again seek public office after pleading guilty to charges tied to an alleged affair with a former senior adviser. Rumors began to circulate that Bentley, 74, was involved with his aide Rebekah Caldwell Mason, 45, in 2015, when Bentley’s wife of 50 years filed for divorce. This week, the Alabama House Judiciary Committee began impeachment proceedings against Bentley, days after a damning 3,000-page report was released outlining his relationship with Mason— claiming that Bentley routinely called her “baby” in meetings and sent her passionate text messages from an iPhone synced to his wife’s iPad. “You look beautiful and feel so soft,” read one. Bentley, who denies having had a physical affair with Mason, pleaded guilty to misuse of office resources to cover up their relationship. Under a plea deal, Bentley must perform 100 hours of community service.
Washington, D.C. Trump adviser surveilled: The FBI obtained a secret court order to monitor the communications of one of Donald Trump’s foreign policy advisers in the runup to last year’s election, The Washington Post reported this week. While Page investigating possible links between Russia and the Trump campaign, the FBI and Justice Department were able to convince a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court judge that there was probable cause that energy consultant Carter Page was acting as an agent of a foreign power—in this case, Russia. The surveillance application cited Page’s contacts with a Russian intelligence operative in New York City in 2013; according to separate court documents, the Russian operative tried to recruit Page as a source. Page started a business in Moscow, and in July gave a speech there advocating “mutual respect’’ between the U.S. and Russia. In March 2016, Trump listed Page as a member of his foreign policy team. But he said earlier this year that “I don’t think I ever met him.”
Palm Beach, Fla. Trump hosts Xi: President Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping struck an optimistic tone as they met for the first time at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate last week, in a much-touted summit that focused on the trade relationship between the world’s two largest economies. Performing for the guests On the campaign trail, Trump repeatedly accused China of “currency manipulation” and of destroying American jobs, but the two presidents enjoyed “very positive” faceto-face talks, they told reporters. Ivanka Trump’s daughter at one point serenaded the Chinese president and his wife with a traditional folk song in Mandarin. Trump and Xi had “candid” discussions on the nuclear threat from North Korea, a Chinese ally, and ended their summit by unveiling a 100-day plan to tackle trade imbalances. Days later, Trump warned on Twitter that China would get a much better trade deal “if they solve the North Korean problem!” THE WEEK April 21, 2017
The world at a glance ...
Bayonne, France ETA gives up weapons: The militant Basque separatist group ETA says it has officially disarmed. At a ceremony in Bayonne, ETA revealed the location of its eight arms caches—containing some 3 tons of explosives, 120 guns, and thousands of rounds of ammunition— hidden across the Basque region, which straddles northern Spain and southwest Rajoy: Not impressed France. But Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy was skeptical that ETA, which has reneged on deals in the past, has given up all its weaponry. His government said ETA should ask its victims’ forgiveness “instead of setting up a media show to cover up its defeat and trying to extract political gain from it.” The terrorist group, which declared a cease-fire in 2011, has killed more than 800 people—mostly in Spain—during its 50-year fight for an independent state.
Paris Le Pen’s Holocaust remarks: Far-right French presidential candidate Marine Le Pen drew criticism from her election rivals and Israel this week after she downplayed the French state’s role in the Holocaust. The National Front leader said the Vél d’Hiv roundup—when French police arrested more Denying history than 13,000 Jews in 1942, detained them in a Paris velodrome for five days, then deported them to German death camps—was not the work of “France as such” but rather of “those in power at the time,” meaning the Vichy government of Nazi-occupied France. Israel’s foreign ministry said the claim was “contrary to historical truth.” Le Pen is expected to win the first round of the election this month, but to lose the May 7 runoff.
Barcelona Russian cybercrook nabbed: A Russian email spammer accused of presiding over an empire of fraud was arrested in Spain last week at the request of U.S. authorities. The FBI tried to nab Peter Levashov, 36, several years ago, but Russian authorities refused to help, which implies he has government connections. As police burst into the Barcelona hotel room where Levashov was vacationing, FBI cybersecurity agents were taking out his online network: the tens of thousands of computers he had infected with his Kelihos malware and had used to send hundreds of millions of spam messages each year. Levashov made a fortune selling spamming campaigns, and is alleged to have rented his “botnet” to online criminals who planted ransomware, programs that freeze an infected computer until the victim pays up. Despite being a wanted international criminal, he lived openly in St. Petersburg, flaunting his wealth.
Caracas Violent protests: At least two protesters have been shot dead and hundreds more injured in the past week as Venezuelan authorities violently put down daily anti-government demonstrations. Police hurled tear gas canisters from helicopters into the crowds, and at least one hospital was hit with the gas, injuring patients. The protests began two weeks ago, following President Nicolás Maduro unsuccessful attempt to seize power from the National Assembly, and they intensified last week when opposition leader Henrique Capriles was banned from office for 15 years. “You can shove your disqualification where the sun doesn’t shine,” Capriles said at a rally. “This is not Capriles’ struggle. This Helping an injured journalist is the Venezuelan people’s struggle.” THE WEEK April 21, 2017
Cayenne, French Guiana Massive strikes: A general strike and mass street protests over soaring crime rates and widespread poverty have paralyzed French Guiana, France’s often-neglected overseas territory in South America. Demanding more from France Although French Guiana is supposed to be treated like any other part of France, up to 30 percent of its 250,000 inhabitants still lack drinking water and electricity in their homes, and more than 20 percent of the population is unemployed—double the rate in France. “The government doesn’t understand that the population is fed up,” said Antoine Karam, who represents the territory in the French Senate. Last month, protesters blocked access to France’s only spaceport, which is on the territory’s coast, and forced the postponement of a rocket launch carrying Brazilian and South Korean communication satellites.
Newscom (2), AP (3)
Mexico City North America United! Canada, Mexico, and the U.S. are launching a joint bid to host the 2026 soccer World Cup. If the bid is successful, Mexico City will push for the opening match. But the big winner would be the U.S., which would host 60 games—including all matches from the quarterfinals on—while Mexico and Canada would host 10 each. FIFA, soccer’s international governing body, has sought assurances that teams, fans, and media from all countries that qualify for the tournament will be allowed into the U.S. if the bid is successful. That includes Iran, a soccer-mad nation that is one of six countries listed in President Trump’s travel ban.
The world at a glance ... Sabha, Libya Modern slave markets: Hundreds of West African migrants who trekked to Libya, hoping to journey to Europe, have been sold in slave markets, the United Nations’ International Organization for Migration reported this week. Victims told the IOM that after being captured by people smugglers or militia groups in Libya, they were taken to town squares or parking lots to be sold for between $200 and $500 each. Most of the men are used as day laborers, while the women become sex slaves. One Senegalese migrant told IOM that after he was sold, his captors held him in a prison-like building and regularly called his family at home demanding a nearly $500 ransom. He was then sold to a larger prison, where the ransom doubled. Men whose families didn’t pay up were eventually killed, he said. About 27,000 migrants have attempted to cross the Mediterranean to Italy from Libya so far this year; tens of thousands more are waiting in Libya for boats.
Pyongyang, North Korea U.S. strike force approaches: The U.S. moved a Navy strike group led by the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson to Pacific waters near North Korea this week, as concern mounted over dictator Kim Jong Un’s fastadvancing nuclear weapons program. North Korean offiKim: Threatening war cials have repeatedly hinted that they intend to test an intercontinental ballistic missile capable of hitting the U.S. this year. President Trump tweeted that “North Korea is looking for trouble” and vowed that the U.S. would “solve the problem” alone if China, Pyongyang’s main ally and trading partner, refuses to help. Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping spoke by phone soon after the tweet, and Xi said China wanted to “resolve the problem through peaceful means.” Beijing has said it will slap new sanctions on North Korea if it carries out more nuclear or long-range missile tests, and it has begun enforcing the ban on North Korean coal imports that it announced in February. North Korea, which has long warned its people that a U.S. attack could come at any time, said that it might “obliterate” America with its “mighty nuclear weapons” if a preemptive strike looked likely. “Our military is keeping an eye on the movement of enemy forces while putting them in our nuclear sights,” said a state-run newspaper. The Trump administration, meanwhile, says it is considering “all options” for stopping North Korea’s nuclear efforts, including stationing nuclear weapons in South Korea and launching a “decapitation” strike to take out Kim and his top aides. South Korean media reported that a Navy SEAL team is already in South Korea training for such a mission.
AP, Newscom (2)
Tokyo Elderly gangsters: The yakuza, Japan’s not-quite-illegal organized crime syndicates, are suffering the same problem as the rest of Japanese industry: a graying workforce. About 40 percent of registered yakuza members are over 50, and many want to retire but are obliged to continue funneling funds to higher-ups in the rigidly hierarchical organizations. Since Japan passed a law in 2011 banning businesses from working with gangsters, recruitment has been down. “I have a chronic illness and my true feeling is wanting to retire,” one 70-year-old gang leader told the Asahi Shimbun. “[I’d] take it easy if there were someone I could pass the gang down to.” Tanta, Egypt Christians slaughtered: Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi has declared a three-month state of emergency after ISIS bombed two Coptic Christian churches, killing 45 people during Palm Sunday services. One suicide bomber reached the front pews at a church in the Nile Delta city of Tanta before detonating his charge; two hours later, another blew himself up while trying to enter St. Mark’s Cathedral in Alexandria. Pope Tawadros II, the head of the Coptic church, was in St. Mark’s at the time but was not harmed. ISIS said Copts, who account for 10 percent of Egypt’s population, are “crusaders” who will “pay with rivers of blood from their children.” El-Sissi’s order expands his government’s already vast powers to arrest and hold suspects—at least 40,000 people have been detained since he took power in a 2013 coup, and some suspects have been tortured and killed. Grieving Copts
Yangon, Myanmar Suu Kyi denies ethnic cleansing: Dismissing numerous credible reports by the United Nations and international human rights groups, Myanmar’s leader Aung San Suu Kyi said this week there was no ethnic cleansing of Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar. Tens of thousands of Rohingya, an ethnic and religious minority, have fled to Bangladesh and elsewhere, driven from their homes by rampaging Buddhist gangs and Myanmar’s military, which is accused of systematic rape and summary execution. Under the powersharing agreement that restored partial civilian rule to the country in 2015, Suu Kyi’s government does not control the military. Still, the Nobel Peace Prize winner has downplayed reports of military atrocities. “Ethnic cleansing is too strong an expression,” she told the BBC. Suu Kyi: Not speaking out THE WEEK April 21, 2017
Manilow’s open secret Barry Manilow always feared that coming out as gay would ruin his career, said Jeff Nelson in People. The 73-year-old hitmaker has been with his longtime manager, Garry Kief, for almost 40 years—but until recently, the couple hid the nature of their relationship from everyone except friends and family. The two met in 1978, four years after Manilow released his chart-topping hit “Mandy.” An introvert, Manilow was struggling with his newfound fame at the time, and decided to separate his professional and personal lives. “And when I met Garry, that was even more of a reason to keep my life private,’’ he says. The two left hotels by the back way to avoid suspicion, and Manilow even moved in with a woman to keep people guessing. Over the years, Manilow and Kief’s relationship became an open secret, but the singer was still reluctant to confirm his sexuality to his mostly female fans. “I thought I would be disappointing them if they knew I was gay.” The news only came out in 2015 when pal Suzanne Somers spilled the beans on a TV chat show. Manilow was touched by his fans’ response. “When they found out that Garry and I were together, they were so happy. The reaction was so beautiful—strangers commenting, ‘Great for you!’ I’m just so grateful for it.”
Odom’s destructive demons
QCaitlyn Jenner reveals in a new
memoir that she has undergone gender reassignment surgery, two years after announcing her decision to transition from male to female. In The Secrets of My Life, reports RadarOnline.com, the former Olympic hero says she had the operation in January largely because her male anatomy had become burdensome, and that she was “tired of tucking the damn thing in all the time.” The complex procedure, which can cost up to $100,000, gives Jenner, 67, functioning female genitalia. “I am going to live authentically for the first time in my life,” she says. Jenner said she’s going public with the THE WEEK April 21, 2017
Geena’s war on movie sexism Geena Davis made an average of one movie a year from age 26 until she turned 40, said Decca Aitkenhead in The Guardian (U.K.). But then the work dried up. By 50—having had only one film role in a decade—Davis was so fed up that she decided to fight sexism head-on. She founded the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media to measure the representation of women on screen. “I am completely obsessed with numbers and data,” says Davis, 61. “I have become a scientist in later life.” Ten years on, she has compiled a mountain of sobering statistics. Male characters outnumber females in family films by 3-to-1. In the 200 top-grossing films of 2014 and ’15, males had twice as much screen time as females, and spoke twice as much. “Boys and girls are getting the message that girls are less valuable to our society, because they’re not there. And if they are there, they’re not talking.” By crunching the numbers— which also show that films with a female lead make 15 percent more at the box office—Davis hopes to reform Hollywood. “There’s one children’s network that tells us, every time someone pitches a new idea, someone asks, ‘What would Geena say?’” She roars with laughter. “Which is exactly what I want!”
surgery to silence incessant questions. “This is the first time, and the last time, I will ever speak of it.” QJanet Jackson has separated from bil-
lionaire husband Wissam Al Mana, just three months after giving birth to her first child at 50. “She thought he had become too controlling,” an insider tells the New York Post. A strict Muslim, the Qatari businessman reportedly objected to Jackson’s revealing outfits and sexually charged dance moves on stage. “It drove her crazy,” the insider says. “She felt she was losing her fan base.” The deal breaker, an insider said, was Al Mana’s indifference to Jackson’s mother, Katherine, 86, who recently spent two months at the couple’s London home after claiming to have suffered elder abuse at the hands of her caregiver nephew. “That’s when Janet made
her decision that there was no turning back,” the insider said. QMariah Carey has dumped her much younger, backup-dancer boyfriend, TMZ .com reports. The singer, 47, split last week with Bryan Tanaka, 34—largely, sources say, because he was jealous of her amicable relationship with former husband Nick Cannon. The exes frequently party and sometimes vacation together, usually for the benefit of their twin son and daughter. One insider said that Tanaka felt particularly “disrespected” when Carey and Cannon recently attended the Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards together, and that he struck back by openly flirting with other women. Sources say Carey— worth an estimated $520 million—had also grown weary of subsidizing Tanaka’s expensive taste in clothes, shoes, and jewelry.
Maarten de Boer/Contour by Getty, AP, Getty
Lamar Odom has two vices that have torn his life apart: drugs and womanizing, said Ian Drew in Us Weekly. In 2015, the former L.A. Lakers star was found comatose in a Nevada brothel after suffering a suspected overdose. By that point, drug abuse and sexual excess had not only ruined Odom’s NBA career but also destroyed his marriage with reality TV star Khloé Kardashian. She discovered him taking his “drug of choice”—cocaine—in his man cave about two years before they split, says Odom. “I was hiding it for a while, but then I was like, f--- it. She knew I was doing cocaine the whole time after that.” Kardashian also had to put up with his frequent adultery, which got worse after the couple starred in their eponymous reality TV show. “When I became Khloé Kardashian’s man on TV, it made me look more enticing.’’ At one point, Kardashian found Odom getting high with one girl in a “sleazy” motel. “It was atrocious. Looking back, I’m like, ‘What are you doing?’” Kardashian eventually had enough and filed for divorce. Odom has since gone through rehab, and Kardashian continues to provide emotional support—though just as a friend. Odom says “it’s a great feeling” to be off drugs, but regrets he ruined his marriage. “I wish I could have kept my d--- in my pants.”
The EPA at a crossroads After decades of dramatic successes—as well as failures—the Environmental Protection Agency is changing its mission.
How did the EPA begin?
EPA has had a major comeback under both Republican and Democratic presiThe sprawling regulatory agency Presdents in recent decades. ident Trump vowed to eliminate “in almost every form” is essentially a child Has the agency been successful? of the ’60s. During that era, smogBy and large, yes. Air pollution is down choked cities and contaminated rivers by 70 percent since the EPA was formed, and lakes made Americans increasingly and studies indicate cleaner air has saved anxious about pollution from emissions, millions of lives. The percentage of industrial waste, raw sewage, and other America’s polluted waterways has been sources. In response, President Richard cut almost in half, from two-thirds in Nixon—a Republican—established 1970 to about 35 percent. The hole in the EPA in 1970 and named as its first the ozone layer is healing. Blood levels administrator William Ruckelshaus, an of lead—which can cause brain damage assistant attorney general. Until then, In the 1950s, thick smog blanketed many U.S. cities. and lowered IQs—have dropped 75 peronly the states had enforced environcent in the U.S. public as a whole. Hundreds of Superfund sites mental laws. “They competed with one another so fiercely for the location of industry that they weren’t very good regulators of those have been cleaned up. “I think the EPA has a very good record of setting tough standards and industry meeting them,” observes industries,” Ruckelshaus explains. “It was very hard to get widespread compliance.” Ruckelshaus started by trying to establish and Armond Cohen of the Clean Air Task Force. enforce air quality standards and target major water polluters. It What will happen under Trump? wasn’t until Congress passed landmark environmental legislation, Much will depend on what Congress decides to do with EPA fundhowever, that the EPA gained real muscle. ing when it passes a budget. Trump’s original blueprint slashed the EPA by 31 percent, eliminating 50 programs. “What they’re tryWhat was the legislation? ing to do is eviscerate the agency,” says Christine Todd Whitman, The Clean Air Act of 1963 was amended in 1970, giving the EPA an EPA administrator under President George W. Bush. New broad powers to regulate emissions from smokestacks and tailadministrator Scott Pruitt is a climate-change skeptic with ties to pipes—by phasing out leaded gasoline, for example. In 1972, the fossil-fuel interests, who as Oklahoma attorney general brought Clean Water Act granted it similar authority over waterways and more than a dozen lawsuits against the EPA. After being sworn wetlands. Congress also empowered the agency to regulate pestiin, he told agency employees that their role was now to be “procides and ban DDT—sprayed across the country to kill mosquitoes, but so toxic it nearly wiped out several bird species, including energy and jobs” as well as “pro-environment.” Trump has asked Pruitt to help dismantle much of President Obama’s environmental the bald eagle. After seeping chemicals from a toxic waste dump legacy: the Clean Power Plan, which promotes renewable energy sickened hundreds of residents of Love Canal, N.Y., in 1978, and curbs greenhouse gas emissions; rules requiring cars and light Congress created the EPA-administered Superfund for hazardous trucks to average 36 miles per gallon (up from 25 mpg) by 2025; waste cleanup. The agency’s work had a major impact on air and and the Clean Water Rule, which expanded the number of small water quality, but its regulations proved controversial. streams and wetlands that qualify for federal protections. Industry groups had objected to all of these new initiatives. Why? Industries found the EPA’s regulations too complex and costly, and Will the EPA survive? argued that the constant demands of The agency may be hard to kill, federal bureaucrats for permits and clear- The first Gorsuch because it administers so much federal ances were killing jobs and strangling the Before Neil Gorsuch, there was his mother, environmental legislation, which is not country’s economic growth. Businesses Anne, the EPA’s first female administrator. easily undone. But Trump could try to large and small came to view the EPA “Known for wearing fur coats, driving a gasstarve the EPA of funding and employas an adversary. They found an ally in guzzling Cadillac, and smoking two packs of ees, and Pruitt could cut way back cigarettes a day,” historian Meg Jacobs recalls, President Ronald Reagan, a proponent “Gorsuch took Washington by storm.” She cut on enforcement. Voters may not care: of small government who campaigned her agency to the bone, slashing enforcement Though a recent Gallup poll found that against “environmental extremists.” actions by 73 percent, rolling back clean air and 71 percent favor protecting the enviReagan “was fixated on governmenwater rules, and promoting “voluntary complironment over more fossil-fuel developtal deregulation,” says environmental ance by industry.” Gorsuch also sped approvals ment, a Pew Research poll late last year scholar Walter Rosenbaum, “and EPA for spraying restricted pesticides, and purged found Americans rank the environment was a favorite target.” In 1981, Reagan the agency of employees deemed too zeal12th on their list of concerns. Perhaps named Anne Gorsuch his EPA adminisous. Her tenure was short-lived, however: After that’s because there are no longer trator. The mother of new U.S. Supreme less than two years, Gorsuch was forced to so many billowing smokestacks and Court Justice Neil Gorsuch, she was an resign in a scandal over mismanagement of the sewage- and chemical-choked rivers. outspoken agency critic who made deep Superfund program. She remained embittered “To a certain extent, we are victims cuts in the agency and invited regulated for the rest of her life, saying President Reagan of our own success,” Ruckelshaus industries to rewrite rules to their liking abandoned “me and my people, people whose observes. “It is not so obvious to peo(see box). But Gorsuch didn’t last long, only ‘crime’ was loyal service.” Gorsuch died of ple that pollution problems exist and and because cleaning up the environment cancer at 62 in 2004. that we need to deal with them.” enjoyed widespread public support, the THE WEEK April 21, 2017
It’s time to kill the filibuster Jamelle Bouie
The only health-care option left Jonathan Chait
Giving up our rights as citizens Lubana Adi
Los Angeles Times
Best columns: The U.S. For the sake of our democracy, the Republicans should kill the filibuster once and for all, said Jamelle Bouie. After changing Senate rules last week to eliminate the 60-vote requirement for approval of Supreme Court nominees, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said he had no intention of eliminating the filibuster for legislation. But let’s hope “McConnell goes nuclear again.” Many Democrats would be outraged if the GOP changed the rules so that legislation could pass with a simple 51-vote majority, because it would make it far easier for President Trump and the congressional Republican majority to enact its agenda on health care, taxes, and other issues. But in the long run, enabling the party in power to pass legislation would give us a more democratic Congress. The filibuster—a 19th-century rule that is not in the Constitution—supposedly prevents “the tyranny of the majority.” But in our extremely polarized environment, the minority party filibusters virtually every proposed law. The 60-vote requirement has become a weapon of obstructionism, giving us a gridlocked Congress. The party that wins an election should have the ability to deliver on its promises—so voters can clearly judge its successes and failures. “Let the filibuster burn!” Repeal and reform is dead, said Jonathan Chait, so there’s only one way for President Trump “to avoid complete catastrophe on health care.” That’s “to make a deal with Democrats to fix Obamacare.” Republicans tried and failed last week to revive their repeal plan, which is doomed: The hard-line Freedom Caucus objects to all government subsidies for health care, while moderates in the House and Senate fear angering their constituents by taking insurance coverage away. A recent poll found that 75 percent of Americans now want Trump and Congress to “do what they can” to make the Affordable Care Act work. Fixing the program’s problems “would be a relatively simple matter.” Modest increases in federal funding for subsidies for young people and rural markets would boost enrollment, and bring insurers back to states that have too few of them. Democrats might be willing to work with Trump on health care, if he’s willing to preserve coverage for those who already have it; Republicans, meanwhile, need to avoid “a policy debacle that might lead to a wave election against them in 2018.” Working with Democrats is Trump’s only viable health-care option. “Whether he is smart enough to realize that is another story.” “One of the happiest moments of my life was the day in 1999 when I became an American citizen,” said Lubana Adi. But after my recent experience at Los Angeles International Airport, I wonder if the Constitution still applies to U.S. citizens who happen to be Muslim. I had bought a ticket to Turkey to visit my mother and two brothers, who moved there as Syrian refugees, but was immediately sent to a separate security line. There I had my purse and carry-on completely emptied, and underwent two body scans and two very aggressive body searches, with a female TSA employee reaching between my legs. When they were done, I went to the gate—where several armed men and women searched my body again, demanded to know how I got a passport, and tested my feet for traces of explosives. When I finally boarded the plane, four armed men converged on me and interrogated me harshly, with one asking in Arabic if I was familiar with “Daesh”—that is, ISIS. Upon my return to the U.S., I endured a similar ordeal, with a threehour interrogation and the examination of my cellphone’s contents. My fellow Americans, if they can do this to me, they can do this to you.
“Each of the last seven American presidents has launched his own entirely new military operation against jihadists or hostile Muslim governments. Yet it’s safe to say that each of them entered office hoping to avoid new conflicts. American politicians and the American people are burdened with a complex set of contradictory desires and goals. We want to defend the nation against terrorists, and we want to stop genocide. At the same time, we don’t want to nation-build, we don’t like civilian casualties, and we don’t like endless or inconclusive wars. We want what we can’t have and politicians want our votes, so they promise what they can’t deliver and the wars grind on.” David French in NationalReview.com THE WEEK April 21, 2017
It must be true...
I read it in the tabloids QAn aspiring Australian rapper gorged himself on seafood and booze, including 17 vodka oyster shooters, at a top Brisbane beach restaurant and then ran into the sea to avoid paying the $450 check. Terry Peck, who performs under the name 2Pec, allegedly downed two lobsters, a baby octopus, the shooters, and several beers before diving into the ocean. Two police jumped on a lifeguard’s Jet Ski and arrested the rapper in the water. In court, Peck, 33, insisted he’d done nothing wrong. “The lobster was a bit overcooked,” he said. The restaurant “should be apologizing to me.” QUnable to find love with a real-life woman, a Chinese engineer has married a humanoid robot that he built himself. Zheng Jiajia, 31, assembled the realisticlooking fembot, named Yingying, late last year and recently wed her at a ceremony attended by his mother and friends. “My dream of making my own spouse finally came true,” Zheng said. The artificial intelligence expert programmed his new wife so she can speak simple sentences, and plans to upgrade Yingying so she can walk and do household chores. QA South Dakota man was fined $190 for failing to keep his pet python on a leash. Jerry Kimball was letting the snake slither around a public park when an animal control officer ticketed him for “animals running at large” and told him to keep the reptile on a restraint. “He was literally asking me to put a rope around my snake,” said Kimball. He intends to keep exercising his snake in public. “That’s my purpose in life: To let people know that snakes aren’t killers.”
14 NEWS UNITED KINGDOM
Parents can’t choose Disney over school Michael Gove
Gibraltar shows why EU is vital Diogo Queiroz de Andrade
Best columns: Europe Children belong in school, said Michael Gove. Surely we can all agree on that? Then why the outcry over last week’s supreme court decision upholding a $180 fine on a man who took his 6-year-old daughter out of the classroom for a whole week to jet off to Disney World in Florida? The father, John Platt, is complaining that he is the victim of a “nanny state” telling him how to raise his child—and many British pundits agree. But I was the education secretary who introduced the first fines for truancy in 2014, and I stand by that punishment. Before the crackdown on truancy, schools granted 10 days of absence at
parental request, and many families took it “as a right to a fortnight’s holiday whenever they liked.” Immigrant families would send their British-born children to their home country for long periods, which “damaged integration as well as education.” I want Britain to keep “every child in school for every possible hour,” because studies show a direct link between missed school days and poor achievement later in life. Does anyone really think “future employers will prefer a detailed working knowledge of the Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin ride to tediously anachronistic mental ornaments such as math”?
The recent saber rattling between the U.K. and Spain over Gibraltar is a chilling reminder of Europe’s bloody past, said Diogo Queiroz de Andrade. Tensions over the rocky outcrop off Spain’s southern coast started to rise when the European Union declared that a Brexit deal would only apply to the territory—which Britain seized from Spain in the 1700s—if Madrid gave its approval. Prime Minister Theresa May has laughed off suggestions that the U.K. would use force to retain Gibraltar, saying she will negotiate, not fight, with Spain. But once countries leave the EU, peace is no longer a given. “Wars and territorial disputes dominated the Continent’s history for centuries,”
and only the formation of the European Union put a stop to them. EU membership ensures that long-standing territorial disputes between member nations Hungary and Romania, for example, do not resurface. Ethnic unrest within countries, too, is now contained primarily by a shared commitment to the European project. Destroy the EU, as the nationalist forces surfacing in many countries advocate, and regional separatists in Spain, Belgium, and Italy would all pursue independence— possibly by force of arms. If the prospect of Brexit has already raised the specter of war, imagine what hell could be unleashed should other countries secede.
and at least 300 people have left the Stockholm has joined the long list of country to wage jihad in the Middle European cities attacked by Islamist exEast. “Swedes know all this. It’s just tremists, said Peter Hjorne in Göteborgshard for them to talk about it.” Their Posten (Sweden). Four people were “self-image takes a hit” when they are killed and 15 more injured last week forced to recognize the limits of their when an Uzbek-born ISIS sympathizer famous tolerance. plowed a stolen beer truck through crowds of shoppers on a pedestrian Our security services simply don’t have street before smashing into a departtheir act together, said Jonas Gummesment store. Bloody bodies were strewn son in Svenska Dagbladet. The Stockalong the road, in a scene familiar to us holm attacker was ordered to leave from other recent vehicle attacks—Nice, the country last December, a decision Berlin, London. Our solace now is in made by the immigration authorities. one another. Our emergency services Mourning the dead in Stockholm But even though the Swedish Security responded confidently, and the suspect, Service had once monitored Akilov as a possible extremist, nofailed asylum seeker Rakhmat Akilov, 39, was quickly arrested. body followed up to make sure he had left. Meanwhile, Akilov Our leaders are making it clear that we will not be cowed, nor kept on posting paeans to ISIS on his Facebook page. Police say will we demonize our Muslim neighbors. “We are an open, democratic society, and we will remain so,” said Prime Minister up to 12,000 other rejected asylum seekers have gone missing— how many of them are radicals? It’s hard to avoid “the idea that Stefan Lofven. Crown Princess Victoria, when asked how the the terrorist could have been stopped” if only our agencies comnation would move on, gave the best answer: “Together!” municated with one another. It’s a lovely sentiment, said Matthias Wyssuwa in the FrankMuch more needs to be done, said Aleksandra Boscanin in furter Allgemeine Zeitung (Germany), but soon Swedes will have to move past platitudes and deal with the unpleasant reality Göteborgs-Posten. It shouldn’t have been so easy for Akilov to drive a truck onto the nation’s busiest pedestrian street. Traffic that their country harbors extremists. The country of 10 milbarriers must be set up at all major plazas and more surveillance lion took in more than 160,000 refugees in 2015, the highest cameras installed. We must also reform our laws on freedom of per capita rate in Europe, and integrating them is proving difassociation, and finally make it illegal “to be involved in a terficult. In the Stockholm district of Rinkeby, for example, where rorist organization.” It’s not enough to repeat the mantra that “hardly any ethnic Swedes live,” there is violence, poverty, and we should “live our lives as usual”—we must also make it poshigh unemployment, not to mention the occasional riot. Places sible to actually do so. like this are perfect recruiting grounds for Islamist radicals, THE WEEK April 21, 2017
Sweden: Will a terrorist attack change the country?
Best columns: International
How they see us: An untrustworthy partner for Russia ber the Malaysia Airlines plane that President Trump’s assault on Syria has went down over Ukraine in 2014? blown up all hopes of better relations Russia was immediately declared the between Russia and the U.S., said culprit, and a few hours later the U.S. Dmitry Suslov in Valdaiclub.com. As introduced sanctions that had obvipunishment for what U.S. news reports ously been drafted long before. claimed was a chemical weapons attack by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on But Moscow and Damascus weren’t a rebel-held town, the U.S. launched the targets here, said Sergei Markov 59 Tomahawk missiles at a Syrian airin Echo.msk.ru. The point was to field last week, destroying several buildmake Trump look presidential back ings and six planes. While the U.S. did home, and that mission was acwarn Russia of the impending strike, complished. His friends and enemies giving our Syrian allies time to evacuTrump and administration officials are briefed on the strike. alike cheered and “lavished praise” ate, the budding partnership between on him. That’s because in the U.S., “Democrats and Republicans the Kremlin and the White House suffered “a colossal blow.” have to support any crazy military action with an ultrapatriotic Russia has troops and powerful air defense systems in Syria, and display.” Now that Trump has bombed another country, Ameriif the U.S. military violates international law again to strike our cans are distracted from his humiliating string of policy failures. partner Assad, “Russia will have to take countermeasures.” A Bombing, then, is a show of Trump’s weakness, not his strength. military clash between our two nations, “which seemed unlikely with the arrival of the Trump administration, is now possible.” That weakness makes Trump especially dangerous to Russia, said Mikhail Rostovsky in Moskovsky Komsomolets. When The Americans are pretending that Trump ordered the strike befaced with a strong opponent, “you can negotiate based on cause he was outraged by images of gassed children, said Andrey mutual interest.” But a weak opponent is liable to lash out ranKlimov in Izvestiya. But such operations “require solid preparadomly. Trump is a “cornered, novice president who desperately tion,” and this supposed chemical attack was just an excuse for needs some success.” And with anti-Russian hysteria peaking an intervention. The “White Helmets,” the Syrian rescuers who in the U.S., he has every incentive to lash out at us, to convince took videos and photos of the alleged gas victims, are “probably Americans that he is not the puppet of President Vladimir affiliated with U.S. intelligence” and were instructed to procure such images. And just two days after those images appeared in the Putin. The Tomahawks were not launched to serve “some wellinternational media, the bombs began to fly—no investigation, no thought-out philosophy of foreign policy.” Trump is guided only confirmation, just an attack. It’s a common U.S. pattern: Remem- by “his well-developed instinct for self-preservation.”
Others profit from our medical lore Guo Chenqi
The Economic Observer
Islamic moderates must speak up Syafiq Hasyim
The Jakarta Post
Chinese traditional medicine has been practiced for thousands of years, said Guo Chenqi, but now foreigners have taken over the industry. Japanese and South Korean companies produce 80 percent of the traditional medicines consumed here in China, while Chinese companies produce just 5 percent. And while at one time most of the herbs that foreign companies use in the preparations were at least grown in China, now they are cultivated more cheaply abroad, in places like Myanmar and Azerbaijan. China, where the recipes for these preparations originated centuries ago, doesn’t even own the patents for them. Japan and South Korea together hold 70 percent
of herbal medicine patents, while China “holds an embarrassing 0.3 percent.” That’s because Japan started modernizing its production back in the 1970s, developing “granular forms of drugs that are easier to digest,” and patenting each new formula. In the past decade, South Korea and Japan have aggressively marketed their products not only in their own countries, but also in China and even the West. As a result, the popularity of these herbal remedies is growing, at least partly because it’s much easier to pop a pill than to grind and brew a concoction. “Apart from the name,” there is no longer anything Chinese about Chinese traditional medicine.
Indonesia’s moderate Muslims are finally standing up to extremism, said Syafiq Hasyim. Our nation’s biggest Islamic organization, Nahdlatul Ulama, has just come out in support of Basuki Purnama, known as Ahok—an ethnic-Chinese Christian who is running for a second term as Jakarta governor. While campaigning, Ahok said some Islamic hardliners were misleading their followers, misinterpreting a Quran verse to argue that Christians cannot be allowed to lead Muslims. Hard-liners put out an edited video that made it appear as though Ahok had said the Quran itself was misleading, and he was charged with blasphemy. Now he’s on trial—even as the gubernatorial runoff
approaches—and clerics from many major Muslim organizations have testified against him. But one brave scholar, Ahmad Ishomuddin, defended Ahok by “solely founding his argument on the classical sources of Islam.” This shows that “Islam can be used for religious freedom and human rights issues.” Ishomuddin’s testimony may have inspired the executives of Nahdlatul Ulama, which has some 50 million Indonesian members, to speak openly of their hope that Ahok will be acquitted. Until recently, the progressive Islamic movement seemed “fragile and weak.” Ishomuddin has demonstrated that “our responsibility is to break the silence, and the only way is through courage.” THE WEEK April 21, 2017
Noted QMore unmarried Americans than ever are cohabiting. In 2016, about 18 million adults were living with an unmarried partner—up from 14 million in 2007. The fastest-growing age group of cohabitants in the past decade is Americans 50 and older. More than half of those are divorced, and another 13 percent are widows and widowers. Slate.com
QSeveral aides with no connection to national security joined President Trump in his Mar-a-Lago “situation room” during the Syria strike last week. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, and National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn sat side by side with Trump’s national security advisers and secretary of state. Axios.com
QThe Russian government has now banned its citizens from sharing at least 4,074 “extremist” items via social media and the Internet—including a picture depicting President Vladimir Putin in makeup. That image implies “the supposed nonstandard sexual orientation of the president of the Russian Federation,” said Russia’s justice ministry. TheGuardian.com
QPresident Trump uttered at least 367 false or misleading claims during his first 81 days in office. He made 30 of them on Feb. 28, when he erroneously claimed that America has spent $6 trillion fighting wars in the Middle East (it’s actually $1.6 trillion from 2001 to 2014) and that he had performed better among Hispanics and African-Americans than past Republican presidential candidates. The Washington Post THE WEEK April 21, 2017
Talking points United Airlines: The not-so-friendly skies on routes where there’s sufficient “It is the ‘re-accommodation’ heard demand, betting that some pas’round the world,” said Derek sengers won’t show. When their Thompson in TheAtlantic.com. bet doesn’t pay off, airlines simply United Airlines created its own public bump people. Overbooking is just relations nightmare this week after a one of the countless indignities of viral video showed a 69-year-old pasmodern air travel, said Tom Gara in senger being violently yanked from BuzzFeed.com, “from the cramped an overbooked flight. Passengers had seats to the constant delays.” After a boarded Flight 3411 from Chicago to decade of mergers and acquisitions Louisville when they were told four that have seen 11 domestic airlines seats needed to be vacated for United “shrunk down to five extremely crew members. The airline offered big ones,” there’s simply not much $800 and a hotel stay to people who competition—leaving customers with would switch flights; when there very few options. To put it simply: were no takers, a computer selected “Airlines treat you badly because four “volunteers” to be bumped. they can.” One, Dr. David Dao of Kentucky, Dao being dragged out refused—saying he was a doctor But for United, “the adage about a picture being and needed to see his patients the next morning. worth a thousand words never seemed as true,” United summoned airport police, who wrenched said Michael Hiltzik in LATimes.com. Without a screaming Dao from his seat—smashing his face into the armrest—before dragging him, limp the “raw” video of this brutal assault, there and bloodied, down the aisle. United CEO Oscar might never have been a firestorm over United’s behavior. In retrospect, it would have been more Munoz made matters even worse by releasing a cold, Orwellian statement in which he apologized sensible for United to increase the compensation to the legal cap of $1,350, which might have for having had to “re-accommodate” Dao. persuaded a few passengers to take the money. Instead, the company—which made $2.3 billion This “horror show” was the product of the airline industry’s “ridiculous, outdated overbooking last year—decided to “cheap out.” Now United’s shares have slid 4 percent and its reputation has system,” said Daniel Gross in Slate.com. “For been badly damaged. “If there’s any justice in the an airline, every empty seat on a flight is an ecoworld, now they’ll really pay.” nomic tragedy.” So carriers routinely overbook
O’Reilly: A defining moment for Fox News Fox News has a Bill O’Reilly dilemma, said Brian Rosenwald in USNews.com. After The New York Times revealed the network and its marquee host had paid $13 million to five women who’d made sexual harassment claims against him, “a torrent of blue-chip advertisers” fled The O’Reilly Factor—some 50 so far. “It’s a defining moment” for Fox, said Sharon Waxman in TheWrap.com. Axing O’Reilly “means slicing the heart out of the Fox News body politic.” A pugnacious right-winger with “the paternal air of authority, O’Reilly is the brand,” generating a whopping $446 million in revenue since 2014 alone. Yet keeping him—especially when the network vowed a culture change after CEO Roger Ailes’ ouster last year—would prove that “Fox will tolerate sexual harassment within its highest ranks.” Did O’Reilly really harass these women? asked George Neumayr in WashingtonExaminer.com. “Who knows?” He denies the allegations, and the cases “have all been confidentially settled.” Perhaps, as he contends, he was “the target of opportunists” who were looking for a big check. Meanwhile, The O’Reilly Factor—already the toprated show on cable news—has enjoyed a 14 percent ratings bump. That’s because his fiercely loyal
core audience sees this as just another liberal hit job. Many conservative women roll their eyes when feminist ideologues scream sexism and harassment—often based on nebulous evidence. “The feminist left has cried wolf too many times,” which is one reason the Access Hollywood tape didn’t sink Donald Trump. Not surprisingly, the president said he doesn’t “think Bill has done anything wrong,” said Andrew Wallenstein in Variety.com. And by surviving his own serial harassment scandal, Trump has made it possible for his buddy to keep his job. It didn’t seem possible that a presidential candidate could get away with admitting on a videotape to grabbing, kissing, and assaulting unwilling women. “But that’s just what Trump did.” So if a president can do it, why not a talkshow host? What an awful message, said Susan Chira in The New York Times. Women already know that “powerful men” aren’t held accountable for sexual harassment, which is why so few report it. A 2015 Cosmopolitan survey found that 71 percent of women who’d been harassed at work made no complaint, fearing retribution. In a world still run by men, “sexual harassment remains part of the American workplace.”
Audra D. Bridges/AP, Newscom
Talking points Hillary: Should she just go away? to fight for her values and “Have you missed Hillary Clinprograms that advance ton since she lost the election?” women’s rights, which is said Jim Treacher in Daily inspiring. Besides, Clinton Caller.com. Probably not, and is “clearly right” about the yet the defeated Democratic misogyny. Studies show that candidate has emerged from ambitious men are often the woods around Chappaqua, well-liked, but in women, and is stubbornly wading back ambition engenders deep into public life. Clinton last suspicion. Clinton had a week gave her first major inter65 percent approval rating view since the election, at the as secretary of state; it was Women in the World Summit in only when she decided to Manhattan—during which she Clinton: Sexism ‘played a role’ in her loss. seek “the highest office in sounded off about the “chathe land” that her popularity plummeted. otic” Trump administration and weighed in on Syria, as well as discussing the supposed reasons “There is a post-politics role for Clinton,’’ said why she lost. Misogyny “played a role,” Clinton insisted—even though 53 percent of white women Timothy Stanley in CNN.com, “but it cannot be just yet.” Like countless other politicians who’ve voted for Trump—while FBI Director James left office, Clinton is clearly struggling with the Comey’s email announcement and Russia’s interloss of power, influence, and attention. In her ference sealed the deal. Clinton “still doesn’t get it,” said Emily Jashinsky in WashingtonExaminer view, “perhaps it’s better to be talked about horribly than not at all.” But if she really wants to .com. She lost “the most winnable race in recent help the Democratic Party, she should give it time history” to a beatable candidate because of her private e-mail server, “record of corruption,” and to “separate from her memory—to rebuild, find her failure to campaign in Michigan and Wiscon- new candidates, re-establish its identity,” and delink itself from the Clinton era. Remember: sin. Alas, she and the Democrats would rather It was Hillary who “gave the White House to “blame others for their own mistakes.” Trump” by alienating so many voters. If Democrats want any hope of bouncing back in the next I’m glad Clinton “refuses to disappear,” said few years, Clinton needs to leave the stage, so the Michelle Goldberg in Slate.com. After suffering spotlight can fall on a new generation of leaders. “an epochal, humiliating rebuke,” she still wants
Bannon vs. Kushner: The battle for Trump’s soul
The battle for Trump’s heart and mind has deteriorated to the “point of breakdown,” said Maggie Haberman in The New York Times. White House chief strategist Steve Bannon, the rumpled “economic nationalist” who sees himself as the keeper of Trump’s populist promises, is in open warfare with Jared Kushner, Trump’s sleek son-in-law, who is trying to push Trump to the center. “Work this out,” Trump ordered his feuding advisers last week. But that may be impossible. Bannon has already lost his seat on the National Security Council, and in an angry confrontation with Kushner, Bannon scornfully told the 36-year-old real estate heir they disagree because “you’re a Democrat.” Behind Kushner’s back, Bannon is calling him “a cuck” and “a globalist,” said Asawin Suebsaeng in TheDailyBeast.com. Kushner’s allies, meanwhile, portray Bannon as a rude, ineffective blowhard who’s alienated other Republicans. For the sake of the Republican Party, let’s hope Bannon gets pushed out, said Reihan Salam in Slate.com. He vowed to champion trade barriers, immigration restriction, and infrastructure spending, and to turn the GOP into a defender of the white working class. But he’s not only failed to advance these goals—“he’s moved them further
out of reach.” The amateurish ban on Middle Eastern immigrants Bannon helped write crashed and burned in the courts, while energizing Trump’s opposition; Bannon then failed spectacularly to bully the House Freedom Caucus into passing Ryancare. He’s been eclipsed in influence over Trump not only by Kushner but also by establishment types like National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster and economic adviser Gary Cohn, a former Goldman Sachs executive (and Democrat) who’s emerged as the favorite to succeed embattled White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus. We know how this ends, said Timothy O’Brien in Bloomberg.com. “Family always comes first in Trumplandia,” and at the end of the day, “Jared and Ivanka remain the president’s favorite sounding boards.” Neither of them has any experience in politics, foreign affairs, or managing big organizations, “and that’s unfortunate, because neither has the president.” Firing Bannon would be dangerous, though, said Rick Wilson in TheDailyBeast.com. The “alt-right” underbelly that helped elect Trump is already growing suspicious that he’s turning into a conventional Republican. If a vengeful Bannon rejoins the populist, internet-driven movement he helped start, Trump “should prepare for war.”
NEWS 17 Wit & Wisdom “This is the only necessary form of humility: the realization that difference is normal.” Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, quoted in LitHub.com
“Spring is nature’s way of saying, ‘Let’s party!’” Robin Williams, quoted in Heavy.com
“Never think that war, no matter how necessary, no matter how justified, is not a crime.” Ernest Hemingway, quoted in USAToday.com
“The pen is mightier than the sword, but only in retrospect. At the time of combat, those with the swords generally win.” Margaret Atwood, quoted in The New Yorker
“If you need to invoke your academic pedigree or job title for people to believe what you say, then you need a better argument.” Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, quoted in Investor’s Business Daily
“The hardest thing to understand in the world is the income tax.” Albert Einstein, quoted in Bustle.com
“My whole life I’ve been surrounded by middleaged men telling me what to do. Because they know exactly what it’s like to be a young woman.” Pop singer Michelle Branch, quoted in Elle
Poll watch Q57% of Americans approve of President Trump’s airstrike against Syrian warplanes. But 70% think Trump should get authorization from Congress “before any further action against Syria.” CBS News Q67% of Democrats feel “extremely” or “very” proud to be American, down from 78% last year. Republicans (92%) and independents (73%) are just as likely today as last year to say they’re proud to be an American. Gallup THE WEEK April 21, 2017
Streaming: Netflix ditches five-star ratings The star rating made sense when Netflix Netflix doesn’t care anymore whether you was a haven for movie buffs, said David think a film is good or great, “it just wants Sims in TheAtlantic.com. But with Netflix to know if you liked it,” said Ashley Rospending billions of dollars to develop its driguez in Qz.com. The streaming-video own catalog of original movies, television giant abandoned its five-star rating system shows, and documentaries, “its subscriber this month and replaced it with a simple base has exploded far beyond that more thumbs-up or thumbs-down option. Netflix obsessive film-nerd core to encompass more hopes the ratings switch will help it serve casual viewers.” Those users are more likely up better recommendations by getting users to find the thumbs system useful. Case out of a “critic’s mindset.” For example, in point: When Netflix initially tested the you might readily give an Oscar-winning thumbs, it saw a 200 percent increase in movie five stars, but most of the time you The new ratings options ratings logged. “What once was Uber is bejust want to watch three-star sitcoms. Now, coming Tinder—swipe left if you weren’t thrilled, right if you’d instead of browsing by ratings, users will see a personalized like to see more.” “percentage score” indicating “how likely Netflix’s algorithms think they are to like that series or film.” Netflix doesn’t have any reason to use stars, since it’s aiming to have a 50-50 mix of original and licensed content, said This is horrible news for cinephiles, said Jim Vorel in Paste Kevin Lincoln in Vulture.com. “Now that it’s a creator itself, Magazine.com. All those star ratings you’ve made over the past the five-star system is like putting negative reviews in its own decade are now irrelevant. That means you’ll have to retrain Netflix to know what you like using the “vastly inferior” thumbs advertising.” Most online ratings end up functioning as a de system. But what if you only sort of like something? “Not every- facto thumbs-up, thumbs-down anyway, said Geoffrey Fowler in The Wall Street Journal. The average online product rating is thing can be summed up with a gesture, people.” Netflix wants 4.3 stars, according to PowerReviews, while Yelp says 46 percent to give the audience “exactly what it wants—and nothing else,” of businesses receive five-star ratings. “Only every once in a while said Eric Kohn in IndieWire.com. That’s bad for movies and the do you have a terrible experience you want to warn others about people who love them. “By only suggesting titles based on what you’ve liked, Netflix limits the possibility that you might stumble with a one-star rating.” I’ll take a personalized recommendation over “a four-point-whatever star rating any day of the week.” upon something you never knew you’d enjoy in the first place.”
“Construction can be hard, hot work at the best of times,” said Zahraa Alkhalisi in CNN.com, but imagine building a soccer stadium in the Qatari desert, where “temperatures can soar to 122 degrees Fahrenheit in the summer.” Construction is now well underway on eight new stadiums for the 2022 World Cup, which will be held in several cities across Qatar, and researchers have developed a self-cooling hard hat to help workers cope with the country’s searing heat. The solar-powered helmets contain a small fan that blows air over a special insert in the helmet lining “that can absorb and store a large amount of heat.” Researchers say the hard hats reduce skin temperature by as much as 50 degrees, with each insert providing cooling for up to four hours. “Qatar says it has already received interest in the product from potential customers in Mexico, South Korea, Egypt, and Singapore.” THE WEEK April 21, 2017
Bytes: What’s new in tech Attack of the Twitter clone Frustrated Twitter users are migrating to a new social network called Mastodon, said Casey Newton in TheVerge.com. The service, which launched six months ago, has added tens of thousands of users since Twitter changed the way it handles replies—the latest in a series of controversial design tweaks. Mastodon “is almost identical to the platform it’s based on, but with key differences: Posts can run 500 characters rather than 140, and users can make individual posts private.” So far, more than 41,000 users have authored nearly a million posts on the site, which is the creation of a 24-year-old German software developer. The ad-free network is supported by crowdfunding, and users can build their own Mastodon app or host their own version of the service.
Stopping ‘revenge porn’ Facebook is stepping up its fight against “revenge porn,” said Hayley Tsukayama in The Washington Post. The social network has created new privacy tools that stop users “from reposting intimate images shared without the subject’s consent.” The company says it will now keep a database of images reported as revenge porn and use photo-matching software to keep them from being posted on the site
again. Facebook already forbids revenge porn, but victims “often find it very hard to get images of themselves removed from the internet, because it’s so easy to share photos that have been removed in other places.” The crackdown comes amid increased scrutiny of Facebook’s policies after male Marine Corps members were caught using a private group on the site to share nude pictures of female Marines.
Smart cameras for cops America’s largest maker of police body cameras is going all in on artificial intelligence, said Dave Gershgorn in Qz.com. Axon, formerly known as Taser International, will let police departments use its cameras and software free of charge for one year, hoping to sell them on its vision of AI-assisted policing. The company’s software catalogs and analyzes bodycam footage, helping departments sort through hours of video more easily. Right now, the platform is fairly basic. But “down the line, Axon envisions an automated system of police reports.” Artificial intelligence could be used to transcribe interviews, and to generate descriptions and timelines, cutting down on paperwork. The software could also be used to spot abusive police behavior, by flagging footage in which officers use racial epithets, for example.
Innovation of the week
Health & Science
CO2 could cause unprecedented warming If mankind continues burning fossil fuels at the current rate, by the end of this century the level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere could reach its highest concentration in 50 million years. That’s the worrying conclusion of a new study that analyzed data from previous research to examine how the atmosphere has changed over the past half a billion years. Atmospheric CO2 levels are currently hovering around 400 parts per million, up from about 280 ppm before the Industrial Revolution. Researchers at the University of Southampton in the U.K. calculated that unless greenhouse gas emissions are
Zika can cause birth defects.
NASA’s Scientific Visualization Studio, AP, Newscom
Zika’s harmful toll One in 10 pregnant women in the U.S. diagnosed with the Zika virus last year had a baby with severe birth defects, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has announced. The risk jumped to 15 percent for women who were infected during their first trimester, reports NBCNews.com. A mosquito-borne virus for which there is no vaccine, Zika can cause a range of birth defects, including microcephaly, collapsed skulls, and eye abnormalities. Nearly 1,300 pregnant women in 44 U.S. states were diagnosed with the virus in 2016; most of them were infected while traveling in Latin America or the Caribbean, but there have also been cases that originated in southern Florida and southern Texas. CDC officials note that their figures on birth defects may rise: Zika’s effects aren’t always apparent at birth, and many of the newborns weren’t tested, possibly because of the cost. “Zika is still with us,” says CDC Acting Director Anne Schuchat. “We cannot afford to be complacent when a single bite from an affected mosquito can lead to such a devastating condition.”
Arctic mystery solved? Scientists were flummoxed when they discovered in 2011 that algae was growing beneath the Arctic’s surface, turning the sparkling white landscape shades of
reduced, that concentration will rise to about 900 ppm by the year 2100—a level not seen since the early Eocene Epoch, when ice was rare and sea levels were significantly higher than they are now. If emissions remain unchecked until 2400, the researchers found, the concentration could rise to as high as 5,000 ppm. With the sun now brighter and hotter than it used to be, that increase would result in temperatures higher than anything seen in the past 420 million years. Future global temperatures could be influenced by many different factors, and historical estimates for ancient carbon levels—
green. Plankton needs light to photosynthesize, and it was assumed that almost all the sunlight that hit Arctic ice was being reflected back into space. But researchers at Harvard think they have solved the mystery, reports LiveScience.com. Using a computer simulation of sea ice conditions from 1986 to 2015, they found that warmer temperatures have thinned the Arctic’s ice, creating pools of melted snow that have darkened its surface. These melt ponds are absorbing sunlight that was once reflected, allowing more light to penetrate the thinning ice. The researchers calculate that about 30 percent of Arctic sea ice is now thin enough for blooms of plankton to grow beneath the surface—up from about 3 percent two decades ago. They note this trend could dramatically reshape the Arctic marine food chain. “All of a sudden,” says study lead author Chris Horvat, “our entire idea about how this ecosystem works is different.”
A clue on ‘super-agers’ Researchers are a step closer to understanding the secrets of “super-agers,” the lucky seniors who retain their memory, mental sharpness, and thinking skills for much longer than their peers. A team at Northwestern University performed brain scans on 24 super-agers—whom they classified as people over 80 who scored as highly in memory tests as those 15 to 30 years younger—and 12 cognitively average counterparts. Over a period of 18 months, the researchers looked for changes in thickness in the participants’ cor-
Global temperatures could soar.
which are based on isotopes in soil, the ocean, and fossils—are by no means flawless. But study author Gavin Foster tells The Washington Post his findings show that “as far as we know, the [warming] in the future is going to be unprecedented.”
tex, the outer layer of the brain responsible for thinking, memory, and decision making. They found that while all the seniors lost brain volume, the super-agers retained twice as much as their peers. More research is now needed to understand what causes this lower rate of atrophy, reports CBSNews.com. “The most important aspect is to determine the possible genetic, social, and environmental factors that contribute to the super-agers’ thicker cortices,” says Paul Wright, chair of neurology at North Shore University Hospital in Manhasset, N.Y., who wasn’t involved in the study. “This may unlock the key to successful aging.”
Health scare of the week “Obesity paradox” debunked Being a little overweight may not result in a longer life after all. Some past studies have suggested there may be an “obesity paradox”—that extra pounds help protect against heart disease and other health issues. But new research concludes that the opposite is true, reports NPR.org. Scientists at Harvard and Boston universities analyzed data from three studies that followed more than 225,000 U.S. adults. They used weight and height measurements to calculate the participants’ highest body mass index (BMI) during a 16-year period, and tracked how many of them died in the 12 years after that period. They found that the people who were overweight or obese at their peak BMI were more likely to have died for any reason—including heart disease and cancer—than those who maintained a normal weight. The researchers say the studies that produced the obesity paradox may have been flawed because they relied on weight measurements taken at one particular point in time, rather than over a longer period. Edward Yu, the Harvard study’s author, says his findings provide another incentive for people to “follow a healthy lifestyle and try to keep a normal weight.” THE WEEK April 21, 2017
THE WEEK April 21, 2017
Pick of the weekâ€™s cartoons
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ARTS Review of reviews: Books
celebrity clerics like Graham, the movement had begun to coalesce before Falwell established evangelical Christianity as the heartbeat of the Reagan-era Republican Party.
Book of the week The Evangelicals: The Struggle to Shape America by Frances FitzGerald (Simon & Schuster, $35)
The cultural power of American evangelism has often blindsided nonbelievers, said Lily Rothman in Time. In Frances FitzGerald’s new book, a work “as zippy as a 752page history can be,” surprise resurgences become a motif. In the 1790s, the Second Great Awakening startled the Founding Fathers. In the 1930s, fundamentalist churches brushed off defeat in 1925’s Scopes Monkey Trial to build a ready audience for Billy Graham’s postwar crusades. In the 1970s, the emergence of Jerry Falwell’s Moral Majority stunned pundits who had declared God dead. FitzGerald, the author of a Pulitzer Prize–winning 1972 history of the Vietnam War, clearly doesn’t like the agenda of the modern Christian right, said Terry Eastland in The Wall Street Journal. But in her effort to understand the movement, she has crafted a compelling history that’s “impressive for its level of detail.”
Novel of the week American War
by Omar El Akkad (Knopf, $27) This is “a most unusual novel”—in part because it’s unusually chilling, said Rayyan Al-Shawaf in The Boston Globe. Journalist Omar El Akkad’s entry into fiction asks us to imagine a late-21stcentury America plunged into civil war, this time over a law banning fossil-fuel extraction. Fought with drones, biological weapons, and offshore torture centers, this War Between the States has turned many Southerners into refugees, including a Louisiana tomboy who by the novel’s end cannot resist the lure of terrorism. “There are considerable flaws in American War,” said Michiko Kakutani in The New York Times. But though El Akkad indulges in contrivance and melodrama, he also writes with “propulsive verve,” and his time reporting in Afghanistan has given him a “bone-deep” understanding of the impact of war on civilians. Though armed conflict hasn’t visited the continental U.S. in more than a century, the country is growing more divided by the day. American War looks at where those widening splits could lead, and makes the consequences “alarmingly real.”
An evangelical service in northern Virginia
FitzGerald sweeps through decades of history “with a Barbara Tuchman–like grace,” said Douglas Brinkley in The Boston Globe. She begins in the 1740s, when theologians like Jonathan Edwards bucked tradition and took to the fields and streets, delivering emotive sermons that sometimes attracted tens of thousands of listeners. Revivals spread across the land, as the preachers’ focus on each believer’s personal connection to Jesus appealed to listeners’ individualism. No surprise, then, that the nation’s evangelical Protestant sects seldom acted as a united force until the mid-20th century. But led by
Richard Nixon: The Life by John A. Farrell (Doubleday, $35) The shadow of Richard Nixon “looms longer and darker than ever,” said Aram Goudsouzian in The Washington Post. Watching Donald Trump rise to power by demonizing the press, the Washington establishment, and myriad minority groups, it’s easy to see him as an heir to the divisive politics of the last president to be chased from office. But Nixon wasn’t simply a proto-Trump, and John A. Farrell tells Nixon’s story “with punch and insight” in a book that may be “the best one-volume, cradle-to-grave biography that we could expect about such an elusive subject.” Farrell shows us that Nixon wasn’t “Tricky Dick” from birth. As a result, “this portrait is more damning.” Farrell “understands all too well that Nixon was a vat of contradictions,” said Jennifer Senior in The New York Times. Born the insecure son of a failed Yorba Linda, Calif.,
Despite FitzGerald’s mastery of her material, “she makes one astounding error of taxonomy,” said Garry Wills in The New York Review of Books. The Evangelicals focuses almost exclusively on white evangelical Protestantism, a decision she justifies by writing that the history of the African-American church “is a different story, mainly one of resistance to slavery and segregation.” But most black churches are evangelical and have had huge political influence. Still harder to understand is why FitzGerald forgets about evangelism’s past resurgences when she tells us it’s splintering as a movement. She even cites the 81 percent of evangelicals who voted for Donald Trump as evidence not of a political resurgence but of believers rejecting the guidance of church leaders.“She may be right,” said Glenn Altschuler in the Pittsburgh PostGazette, but given history, “it is probably wise to think—and think again—before making predictions about the future of religion and politics in America.” rancher, the Nixon we meet here initially engenders sympathy: His love letters to Pat, his future wife, are both “endearing and pathetic”—“the desperate pleas of the runt of the litter.” Early on, he also made surprising alliances, said Robert Landers in The Wall Street Journal. As a young congressman, Nixon was good friends with House mate John F. Kennedy, close enough that in 1954 he tearfully prayed that Kennedy not die during a risky surgery. That relationship changed, of course, and Farrell pinpoints Nixon’s loss to Kennedy in 1960’s presidential election as the experience that soured the Californian for good. The book’s biggest bombshell, revealed late last year, concerns Vietnam, said Anthony Marro in Newsday. Farrell, chasing old rumors, uncovered an aide’s notes indicating that in 1968 Nixon orchestrated an effort to dissuade the South Vietnamese from agreeing to a peace settlement until after that year’s U.S. election. And then come those repulsive White House tapes, said Steve Donoghue in CSMonitor.com. The recordings, whose existence was made public during the Watergate investigation, vividly memorialize Nixon’s shocking venality. Farrell’s “superb” book does add nuance to Nixon’s story. “But some reputations can’t be salvaged.” THE WEEK April 21, 2017
The Book List
Greg Iles You’d be hard-pressed to find a more indefatigable writer than the Natchez, Miss., novelist Greg Iles, said Gregory Cowles in The New York Times. The publication of Mississippi Blood, the last in a trilogy of fat best-selling thrillers starring Natchez prosecutor turned mayor Penn Cage, ends an eight-year stretch in which Iles cranked out the equivalent in pages of nine standard-size thrillers. Even a debilitating car accident in 2011—which happened one week before the series’ first novel was due—stopped him only briefly. Still, he’s glad to be done. “When I began the trilogy, I had two legs, I felt young, and my kids were beginning high school,” he says. “Now I have one leg, I feel old, and my kids are in college or graduating.” Iles’ protagonist has been through the wringer, too, said Micah Smith in the Jackson, Miss., Free Press. In the course of investigating a string of unsolved 1960s murders, Cage has compromised his principles, uncovered Natchez’s virulently racist past, and lost the woman he loved. As Mississippi Blood begins, he’s about to see his father tried for murder. Iles recalls that when he started the trilogy, there was much talk about America finally transcending racial divides. “Today,” he says, “no one on earth would argue that America is postracial.” To Iles, the institutionalized racism the trilogy depicts has never been unique to the Deep South. He does notice, though, that his Southern readers have a distinctive reaction to the books. “[They] read this and go, ‘You know, I realize now that I was growing up right next to this my whole life and never really knew it.’” THE WEEK April 21, 2017
Best books...chosen by Lidia Yuknavitch Lidia Yuknavitch’s new novel, The Book of Joan, imagines Joan of Arc emerging in a near future when humanity is almost extinct. Below, the author of The Chronology of Water and The Small Backs of Children recommends works by visionary women. The Golden Notebook by Doris Lessing (Harper Perennial, $19). This 1962 novel is a tour de force of nonchronological, overlapping narratives in the form of five “notebooks” kept by a fictional South African writer. I remain as blown away by Lessing’s formal innovations as I was the first day I encountered them. The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood (Anchor $16). In this vital speculative novel, a totalitarian theocracy strips women of all rights, even to their own bodies. In 1985, it resembled a bright warning flare. Recently, I’ve begun leaving free copies on buses and subways and in women’s bathrooms. Lilith’s Brood by Octavia Butler (Grand Central, $22). This brilliant trilogy, composed of the novels Dawn, Adulthood Rites, and Imago, examines tensions that might arise between humans and alien species and also extends Butler’s practice of using genetically altered, hybrid characters to open up questions of race, class, and gender. Empire of the Senseless by Kathy Acker (Grove, $15). Acker’s 1988 dystopian novel left me shredded. Narrators Abhor, who’s “part robot,
part black,” and Thivai, a diagnosed paranoid, describe a world in which Algerian immigrants have taken over Paris, violence is omnipresent, Western cities are filled with zombies, and the CIA has mutated into a multinational behemoth. Acker depicts a kind of pornographic war zone, the logical extension of late capitalism and consumerism. Almanac of the Dead by Leslie Marmon Silko (Penguin, $22). Set in the American Southwest and Central America, Silko’s 1991 novel follows dozens of characters, braiding together their stories. Arms dealers, revolutionaries, drug kingpins, and two psychic sisters inhabit a world where wars—water wars, drug wars, religious wars— are what’s left of us. The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. Le Guin (Ace, $10). Drawing from her knowledge of sociology, anthropology, and psychology, Le Guin imagines a gender-bending future civilization. Her exploration of its culture invites many questions: Who are we? How might we make societies without gender divisions? What might an eco-democracy look like?
Also of interest...in compelling teen protagonists The Hate U Give
The Hearts of Men
by Angie Thomas (Balzer + Bray, $18)
by Nickolas Butler (Ecco, $27)
I “struggle to imagine” another book arriving in 2017 that will be more important than this young-adult bestseller, said Katie Ward Beim-Esche in CSMonitor.com. When a 16-year-old black prep-school student sees her best friend Khalil shot dead by police, she has to decide whether to put her family in danger by testifying, and she can no longer be one person at home and another at school. If this “extraordinary and fearless” book makes you uncomfortable, “that’s because it should.”
Nickolas Butler’s “gut punch of a novel” revolves around a bespectacled adolescent Job, said Darin Strauss in The New York Times. In 1962, 13-year-old Nelson Doughty is trying to survive a Boy Scout camp that swarms with Lord of the Flies–style bullies. The story leaps forward, and as the adult Nelson strives to preserve his decency, the drama turns overly schematic. But Butler has given us an unforgettable character—“and in the end, isn’t that what we ask of a novel, that it be unforgettable?”
The Fall of Lisa Bellow
by Julie Buntin (Holt, $26)
by Susan Perabo (Simon & Schuster, $26)
For readers who were once reckless teens, Julie Buntin’s brilliant debut “will resonate on a cellular level,” said Kristin Iversen in Nylon. A 15-yearold newcomer to a rural northern Michigan town befriends her charismatic 17-year-old neighbor. The girls bond over drugs and other self-destructive habits that only one of them will outgrow. But instead of offering a cautionary tale, Buntin “beautifully captures that time in our lives when our reliance on our friends feels as profound as our need for air.”
With her second novel, Susan Perabo shows a keen grasp of teen psychology, said Bridey Heing in PasteMagazine .com. As a bystander at a deli stickup, 13-year-old Meredith can do nothing when her frenemy Lisa is abducted— but the experience triggers a galloping case of survivor’s guilt. Too many subplots crowd the main story, but as Meredith imagines Lisa’s possible fates, the book becomes a “fascinating” study of adolescent fears, and of “the brain’s remarkable ability to cope with extraordinary circumstances.”
Andrew Kovalev, Caroline Hungerford
Author of the week
Review of reviews: Art & Stage Exhibit of the week Memory Unearthed: The Lodz Ghetto Photographs of Henryk Ross
infant—evidence of relative privilege amid so many neighbors who were starving. In other photographs, “fecal workers” can be seen carting human excrement to the ghetto’s cesspit, a task that doomed many of them to early deaths from typhus. After 1941, when the Nazis outlawed nonofficial photography, Ross frequently shot at oblique angles—through cracks in doors or from under his overcoat. When residents were being herded onto boxcars for the last major deportation, Ross hid in a nearby storeroom to photograph the loading process through a hole in the wall.
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, through July 30 Henryk Ross (1910-1991) refused to let his neighbors die unknown, said Clyde Haberman in NYTimes.com. A former sports photographer, Ross was imprisoned for five years in the Jewish ghetto in Lodz, Poland, and he was allowed to carry a camera because he was given the task of creating ID pictures of the ghetto’s 160,000 residents and of producing propaganda images of factories. Surreptitiously, however, he was also recording “the devastating realities” of ghetto life: “public hangings, a boy collapsed in the street from hunger, corpses and body parts laid out in a morgue.” When the Nazis shipped all but 900 of the ghetto’s surviving inhabitants to death camps in 1944, Ross buried 6,000 negatives in a tar-sealed wooden box. He retrieved the box after Soviet troops liberated Lodz. Though water had destroyed many images, enough survived to provide an invaluable record of atrocity. When viewing Ross’ earliest photos inside the ghetto, “it’s possible to believe that
Stuart Davis: In Full Swing
A policeman’s wife with her infant child
some semblance of normal life existed,” said Jody Feinberg in the Quincy, Mass., Patriot Ledger. If not for the yellow stars sewn on their clothes, you might think the subjects were free people enjoying a meal at home or a lovely day in the park. Ross also captured a chilling hierarchy in ghetto society, said Hilarie Sheets in Artsy.net. In one sequence of four images, a Jewish policeman and his wife cradle and kiss an
Part of the fun of the show is seeing how Davis riffed on his favorite visual motifs, De Young Museum, San Francisco, like a jazz musician recycling melodic through Aug. 6 figures, said Sarah Hotchkiss in San Francisco’s KQED.org. Frequently, words “Imagine Duke Ellington with a paintor still-life images are repeated, echoing the brush,” said Sura Wood in the Bay Area tactics of advertisers. But Reporter. Stuart Davis if you look closely at The (1892–1964) brought a Mellow Pad, “a cacophosimilar verve and “on-thenous conglomeration of move vibe” to modernist twists, dots, and x’s,” painting, translating the you’ll notice Davis lifted energy and syncopation the underlying composihe heard in jazz to hardtion from his own House edged, text-peppered, and and Street, a cityscape he color-drenched invocations completed 20 years earlier. of 20th-century urban life. Davis could be guilty of Born in Philadelphia in forced sunniness, said 1892, Davis was a suburPeter Schjeldahl in The ban New York teenager New Yorker. His struggle when he began studying with alcoholism and his under the Ashcan School’s grief over the death of Robert Henri. But New his first wife leave no York’s 1913 Armory Show exposed Davis to works Davis’ Rapt at Rappaport’s (1951-52) trace in his work. But life truly was good for by Pablo Picasso, Fernand him in June 1964, when, after watching a Léger, and Henri Matisse, and soon he was busy Americanizing cubism. A touring exhi- French film on television, the 71-year-old New Yorker added the word “fin”—French bition of 75 Davis paintings and studies, for “end”—to an ebullient painting he was currently showing in San Francisco, offers a concise portrait of this important innovator, working on and retired to bed. He died of a stroke before morning. a key forefather of pop art.
“To speak of art or artfulness in such a context seems insensitive,” said Mark Feeney in The Boston Globe. “Yet not to do so does Ross a disservice.” Even when he was unable to use a viewfinder, he made images of lasting visual power. In one photograph, a man wearing the yellow star trudges through knee-deep snow amid the ruins of a stone synagogue—and the juxtaposition “carries the weight of centuries.” Ross stopped taking photographs after Lodz was liberated, but he printed some to aid in the Nuremberg trials, and after emigrating to Israel, he eventually assembled a collage of his contact sheets. “What his pictures show make them a gift to posterity. Ross’ skill makes that gift even more precious.”
The Hairy Ape Park Avenue Armory, New York City, (212) 933-5812 ++++
“This isn’t a play; it’s a piece of art,” said David Freedlander in TheDailyBeast.com. Eugene O’Neill’s 1922 expressionistic and unsubtle lament for the common Cannavale man would turn off most 2017 theatergoers in a less-thanknockout production. But this one’s a knockout and more. An eye-popping, rotating set propels Broadway vet Bobby Cannavale to “a career-defining performance” as Yank, the engine stoker on an ocean liner crossing the Atlantic to New York City. O’Neill’s characters give a lot of “very clunky’’ speeches about socialism and the proletariat, said Ben Brantley in The New York Times, but once the drama gets moving, this show is “a visual feast” lit by Yank’s fury. As Yank lands on Park Avenue to lash out at a parade of swells and finally in a zoo cage where he attempts to commune with a gorilla, O’Neill’s parable of oppression and alienation “rings with the primal pain of a working-class American who, once stripped of the identity of his job, discovers he belongs nowhere.” THE WEEK April 21, 2017
24 ARTS Fate of the Furious Directed by F. Gary Gray (PG-13)
++++ Drag racers battle a cyberterrorist.
Colossal Directed by Nacho Vigalondo (R)
++++ A woman’s inner demon terrorizes a foreign land.
Going in Style Directed by Zach Braff (PG-13)
++++ Three old coots plot a bank robbery.
Review of reviews: Film a thermonuclear cyberthriller, Just when you think the Fast and though the late action and the Furious franchise is sequences are as spectacular about to run out of gas, “it gets as you’d expect, this sequel outfitted with an even more “can’t shake the feeling that it elaborate fuel-injection sysonly exists because the last film tem,” said Owen Gleiberman made $1.5 billion worldwide,” in Variety. The series’ eighth said Scott Mendelson in Forbes installment “may just be the .com. In one of many arbitrary most spectacular one yet,” comdevelopments, Jason Statham’s bining multiple action genres Theron and Diesel: Unlikely allies Deckard Shaw, the villain in a pulpy thriller that “packs from Furious 7, joins the good guys to bro out a heady escapist wallop.” Two Furious mainstays, with Dwayne Johnson’s Hobbs. That pair at least Dom and Letty, are honeymooning in Cuba when adds some welcome humor, said Leah Greenblatt Charlize Theron, playing a villain named Cipher, approaches Vin Diesel’s Dom and apparently black- in Entertainment Weekly. The most rewarding mails him into turning against his wife and all their addition to this testosterone bonanza, though, is Theron’s cyber-savvy sociopath, a woman who has pals from the simpler days when they were merely drag-racing gearheads. Before long, we’re watching “no intention of playing the second sex.” between genres, said David Sims I’m sorry, Anne Hathaway, said in TheAtlantic.com. As Gloria April Wolfe in LA Weekly. “It wrestles with a self-inflicted was me; it was never you.” I crisis, a Godzilla-like monster and a lot of other moviegoers is terrorizing Seoul, and when have been put off over the years Gloria watches the news, she by all the naïve princess characrealizes she is the monster, someters you’ve played, but that’s just how controlling its movements. typecasting, and in this enjoyMarrying a Godzilla parody ably weird dramedy, “you are magnetic—and, more important, The ‘magnetic’ star, with Jason Sudeikis with a dark relationship drama is “an ambitious gambit, to say you are flawed and thoroughly the least,” and it doesn’t always click. Still, “I forgive human.” Hathaway plays Gloria, an unemployed alcoholic who returns to her hometown after getting Colossal almost everything,” said David Edelstein in NYMag.com. The concept of a woman finding her dumped. When she reconnects with Oscar, a childinner monster is great on its own, and the finished hood friend, Colossal appears headed toward romcom cliché, until the movie “completely circumvents film “demonstrates that even the dumbest genres can be used to profound ends.” it.” Be forewarned that this movie “swerves wildly” ties,” said Robert Butler in The This reboot of a 1979 George Kansas City Star. The dementia Burns comedy is “as creaky jokes all fall flat, and an early as its would-be bank robbers’ scene in which the three codgers joints,” said Sara Stewart in shoplift dinner from a superThe New York Post. Morgan market is mere slapstick silliness. Freeman, Michael Caine, and Though watching Freeman, Alan Arkin play three old friends Caine, and Arkin work off one who decide to rob a bank after another is “never less than pleastheir pensions are frozen, and ant,” the stars’ energy and charm the stars are all better than the Stand-up guys Arkin, Freeman, and Caine “have been used to disguise how hackneyed comedy around tired, implausible, and overly sentimental the prothem. The frustrating part is, “there’s a better movie lurking just out of reach.” You can see it in the occa- ceedings turn out to be,” said Kenneth Turan in the Los Angeles Times. Without them, this ill-conceived sional flashes of emotion—moments that get buried remake “wouldn’t have much of a pulse.” under “cheap laughs” and “grotesque improbabili-
Daughters of the Dust
(20th Century Fox, $30)
(Cohen Media, $20)
This Oscar-nominated recent hit illuminates 1960s history in “a highly entertaining, lump-in the-throat way,” said the Los Angeles Times. Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer, and Janelle Monáe co-star as three African-American mathematicians who proved essential to NASA’s Project Mercury.
The plotline of this heart-tugging drama “feels like a Hollywood screenplay—except it actually happened,” said The Seattle Times. Dev Patel plays a man raised in Australia who returns to India to find the family he was accidentally separated from as a child. With Rooney Mara and Nicole Kidman.
A landmark in African-American cinema, Julie Dash’s 1991 film brims with imagery that seems “sourced from dreams as much as from history,” said The Village Voice. On a South Carolina Sea Island, a Gullah family prepares to relocate to the mainland, and Dash frames each scene like a painter.
THE WEEK April 21, 2017
Universal Pictures, Neon/AP, Warner Bros.
New on DVD and Blu-ray
Television Movies on TV Monday, April 17 Indignation In the early 1950s, a Jewish kid from New Jersey balks at the traditions of a small Ohio college while falling for a pretty classmate. Based on a Philip Roth novel. (2016) 8 p.m., HBO Tuesday, April 18 The Good Dinosaur A cave-dwelling boy and a young apatosaurus embark on a prehistoric adventure in another delightful animated feature from Pixar. (2015) 7:20 p.m., Starz Wednesday, April 19 The Invisible Man Claude Rains plays a mad scientist who discovers an invisibility potion and embarks on a crime spree. (1933) 8 p.m., TCM Thursday, April 20 On the Town Gene Kelly and Frank Sinatra co-star in an MGM musical about sailors chasing girls and finding romance during a brief shore leave in New York City. (1949) 8 p.m., TCM Friday, April 21 I Am Legend Will Smith portrays New York City’s last human survivor in a half-effective sci-fi drama about a scientist whose immunity to an apocalyptic virus requires that he do battle with zombies. (2007) 3:35 p.m., HBO
Karen Ballard/Netflix, HBO
Saturday, April 22 The Searchers In one of the best of John Ford and John Wayne’s collaborations, Wayne plays a former soldier determined to find a niece who was abducted by Comanches in West Texas. (1956) 10 p.m., Sundance Sunday, April 23 Black Mass Johnny Depp proves he still has more to give in this solid biographical drama about Boston crime boss and FBI informant James “Whitey” Bulger. (2015) 8 p.m., Cinemax
• All listings are Eastern Time.
The Week’s guide to what’s worth watching Fargo It’s crime time again in the northern Midwest. The Emmy-winning series inspired by the Coen brothers’ 1996 black comedy returns with a new story to tell. Ewan McGregor will play twins: one “the Parking Lot King of Minnesota” and the other a balding, potbellied parole officer who strongly resents his brother’s success. Per the Fargo formula, expect ill-conceived criminal capers, a steady civil-servant sleuth, and thick regional accents. Carrie Coon and Mary Elizabeth Winstead co-star. Wednesday, April 19, at 10 p.m., FX Bill Nye Saves the World Nearly two decades after hosting the last episode of his popular children’s show, Bill Nye the Science Guy returns with a new streaming series aimed at correcting adults’ common sciencerelated misconceptions. Model Karlie Kloss and comedian Nazeem Hussein join a team of correspondents that will help Nye tackle subjects including climate change, sex, vaccinations, and genetically modified foods. All 13 episodes will be released simultaneously. Available for streaming Friday, April 21, Netflix Burn Motherf---er Burn! Los Angeles endured several days of rioting 25 years ago after a jury acquitted four white police officers in the videotaped beating of speeding suspect Rodney King. This documentary explores the roots of the racial animosity that erupted into violence in 1992, using interviews with cops, community leaders, and others to trace the bad blood from the 1965 Watts riots to the King conflagration and beyond. Friday, April 21, at 9 p.m., Showtime Girlboss She had an eye for style and a mind for business. In this irreverent new series, Britt Robertson plays a fictionalized version of Sophia Amoruso, the young dumpster diver from Southern California who built a $100 million business out of selling used fashion finds online. The early episodes recount the story Amoruso related in her bestselling memoir, Girlboss—showing how our heroine’s take-no-prisoners attitude catapulted her and
Girlboss’ Robertson: Born to play by her own rules
her Nasty Gal brand past some growing pains. Available for streaming Friday, April 21, Netflix Silicon Valley The good times don’t last long for a tech startup. As Mike Judge’s serialized satire begins a new season, the takeover of Pied Piper has been rebuffed, but founder Richard Hendricks is walking into an ambush when he surprises his executioner friends by quitting. And with that, Thomas Middleditch, T.J. Miller, and the rest of the team are off on another campaign to rock the world with their brilliance. Sunday, April 23, at 10 p.m., HBO Other highlights Genius of the Modern World British historian Bettany Hughes profiles three of the most influential thinkers of the past two centuries: Karl Marx, Friedrich Nietzsche, and Sigmund Freud. Available for streaming Monday, April 17, Acorn TV Bosch L.A. homicide detective Harry Bosch returns, ushering in a season of new episodes based on Michael Connelly’s novels A Darkness More Than Night and The Black Echo. Available for streaming Friday, April 21, Amazon Mary Kills People Lifetime turns darker with this promising series about a doctor who specializes in assisted suicide. Hannibal’s Caroline Dhavernas stars. Sunday, April 23, at 10 p.m., Lifetime
Show of the week The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
Byrne and Winfrey on the case
Her cell line lives on. In 1951, a young woman named Henrietta Lacks was being treated for cancer in Baltimore when a doctor cut two small tissue samples from her cervix without her consent. Cells from the sample did something rare: They lived on and reproduced in a laboratory setting—destining them to play a critical role in countless medical breakthroughs long after Lacks’ death. In this powerful drama based on Rebecca Skloot’s best-seller of the same name, Oprah Winfrey plays Lacks’ daughter, and Rose Byrne plays Skloot; together, they uncover the full story. Saturday, April 22, at 8 p.m., HBO THE WEEK April 21, 2017
LEISURE Food & Drink
Mint chicken: A Burmese stir-fry with border influences in half width-wise, opening it up into two thin pieces. Cut chicken against the grain into thin strips, then chop strips finely until evenly minced.
If you’ve ever been to Yangon, you know that to eat Burmese food is to sample a range of culinary traditions, said Desmond Tan in Burma Superstar (Ten Speed Press). Myanmar, formerly known as Burma, is bordered by five countries, and its cuisine borrows from neighboring cultures while maintaining its own distinctions. “It is savory, occasionally salty, sometimes sour, and often”—because of the frequent use of shrimp paste—“unapologetically funky.”
Recipe of the week Stir-fried chicken with mint 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken thighs ½ tsp cumin seeds ½ tsp black mustard seeds 2 tbsp sambal oelek 1 tbsp dark soy sauce
The fried garlic cloves add extra texture.
1 tsp fish sauce ¼ tsp sugar 2 tbsp canola oil 7 small garlic cloves 1 tsp minced garlic 1 tsp minced ginger 2 Thai chilies or ½ jalapeño, sliced thinly ¼ cup chopped cilantro, plus sprigs for garnish ¼ cup chopped mint Lime wedges, for garnish To mince the chicken, place thighs smooth side up on a cutting board. With knife blade parallel to cutting board, slice each thigh
In a small bowl, blend sambal oelek, soy sauce, fish sauce, and sugar. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Tilt pan so oil pools to one side, then add garlic cloves. Fry until light golden and soft, about 1 minute. Remove garlic cloves and reserve, leaving the oil. Heat skillet over high heat. When oil is hot (not smoking), add minced garlic and ginger. Stir-fry for a few seconds and add the chicken, spreading it out evenly with a wooden spoon. After a minute, give pan a stir so chicken doesn’t stick together. Repeat this step until chicken is light brown in places and pale in others, about 3 minutes. Add in the mustard-cumin powder, sambal mixture, fried garlic cloves, and chilies, stirring constantly, until liquid just lightly coats the meat. Mix in cilantro and mint. Garnish with cilantro sprigs, with lime wedges on the side. Serves 3.
Wine: The next cult grapes?
Campus dining: Three school eateries worth tracking down
In today’s wine world, this year’s obscure grapes are next year’s household words, said Eric Asimov in The New York Times. Four little-known grapes are spotlighted below, but cultivars have been routinely rocketing from obscurity to near ubiquity, so who knows? Maybe one of these will be the next grüner veltliner.
To find unique places to dine, sometimes it pays to go where the students are. These three restaurants, all located within large educational institutions, are redefining school food, and often providing other reasons to linger after a meal. The Restaurant at CIA Copia Napa, Calif. Napa owes a big thank-you to the Culinary Institute of America, said Michael Bauer in the San Francisco Chronicle. The national cooking school recently reopened the downtown museum and education center known as Copia, and the complex’s restau- Roasted cauliflower in the B3 kitchen rant represents “a big step toward bringing back the crowds.” After visiting the Wine Hall of Fame, diners can order shareable dishes like a $45 whole roast chicken, or choose from dishes circulated on dim sum–style carts, and you’d be “hard-pressed to find a more convivial staff.” 500 First St., (707) 967-2555 B3 (aka Back Bay Beats) Boston. Live music performed by students and faculty is a big part of the draw at this Southern-inspired restaurant housed at Berklee College of Music, said Jacqueline Cain in Boston magazine. Nicolas Swogger’s menu nods to Creole and Cajun cuisine, “but the chef also reaches for spices from Middle Eastern and other international pantries.” 160 Massachusetts Ave., (617) 997-0211 Saveur Joliet, Ill. This lunch-only restaurant keeps very limited hours, but the prices are so low and the food “so dang good” that it’s still a great find, said Vickie Jurkowski in the Chicago Tribune. The chefs are all students in the acclaimed Joliet Junior College Culinary Arts Program, and the menu has “an eclectic, international flair,” ranging from fish tacos with smoked Gouda to seared scallops with champagne-lime–vanilla bean crème. 235 N. Chicago St., (815) 280-1200
2014 Vigna di Milo Carricante ‘Caselle’ ($40). This Sicilian white wine, made from the carricante grape, is “fresh, floral, and almost oceanic, with great salinity and minerality.”
2015 Quinta das Marias Encruzado ($13). Grown in the Dão region of Portugal, the encruzado grape produces an “herbal, earthy, tangy” white with “an intriguing bitter note that lingers.”
2013 Nicolas Gonin Persan Mondeuse ($20). The persan and mondeuse grapes both nearly went extinct, but here they meet in a red blend that’s “an utter joy”— “fresh, honest, and slightly funky.” THE WEEK April 21, 2017
John Lee, Moses Mitchell Photography
The recipe below, which requires no shrimp paste, is a Burmese-Chinese version of laap, the herby Thai minced meat dish. The minced chicken is stirfried with ground cumin and mustard seeds, ginger, garlic cloves, and a spoonful of sambal oelek—a blend of red chilies, brown sugar, and salt that can be found near the Sriracha in many Asian markets. You can turn this into a vegetarian dish by replacing the chicken with tofu—diced, then drained on paper towels and stir-fried.
In a skillet, toast cumin and mustard seeds until they pop, no more than 30 seconds. Transfer to a mortar with a pestle, and pound into a coarse powder.
This week’s dream: Setting sail in the British Virgin Islands “The British Virgin Islands are everything you hope for when fantasizing about an escape to a tropical paradise,” said Gina Verseci in The Boston Globe. My husband and I once chartered a crewed catamaran with another couple for a weeklong tour of the Caribbean archipelago, and the journey turned out to be “the most sublime vacation we’ve taken to date.” We sailed from island to island, stopping to swim in crystalline waters, lounge on white-sand beaches, and refresh ourselves at countless beach bars. Since that trip we’ve longed to return, so we recently took our three girls on a mini version of our previous expedition, zipping between islands on a chartered power catamaran. This time, we weren’t hauling as much booze as we once had, but we did enjoy more than one Painkiller—the nutmegdusted rum punch that’s the official cocktail of the BVIs. The islands “abound with secluded beaches and hidden anchorages,” and the best part
Hotel of the week
A hit with Queen Victoria
eStock Travel, Palé Hall
Palé Hall Bala, U.K. This Welsh country manor is truly fit for royalty, said John Oseid in Forbes.com. In 1889, Queen Victoria paid what was supposed to be a fleeting visit to Palé Hall, but was so enchanted that she ended up staying for 10 days. After an extensive renovation, the 146-year-old property recently reopened as an 18-room hotel, and its dark wood paneling and molded ceilings have been restored to their former glory. But this is no stuffy palace. Home to an adorable Norwich terrier named Ted, the house is “extremely dog-friendly,” with gardens that give way to woods and mountains. palehall.co.uk; doubles from $237
doscope of colorful corals.” On Cooper Island, palm-fringed Manchioneel Bay is among the archipelago’s most picturesque moorings. A day spent snorkeling with sea turtles around the U-shaped reef and chilling at the Cooper Island Beach Club is “vacation at its best.” “If you’re overdue for a dose of semicivilization,” drop anchor at the Bitter End Yacht Club on Virgin Gorda’s North Sound. Once ashore, explore the Baths—a labyrinth of pools and caves nestled among gigantic granite A catamaran moored off Norman Island boulders. To the north, the all-coral of chartering is discovering your own private atoll of Anegada is home to the some of the Caribbean’s most pristine beaches and paradise. Still, it helps to know where to one of the world’s largest reef systems. All start. Sail south from Tortola, the largest of the BVIs’ 60 isles, and you’ll reach Norman you’ll need are your flippers, snorkel, and a Island—believed to have been the inspiration few bucks for conch fritters and Painkillers. for Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island. “Evening should find you ordering up succulent Caribbean lobsters fired up in splitSnorkeling in and around its caves—where oil-drum grills under the stars.” Long John Silver supposedly left “15 men At Cooper Island Beach Club (cooperisland on the Dead Man’s Chest”—“feels like swimming in a giant aquarium with a kalei- beachclub.com), doubles start at $235.
Getting the flavor of... Cajun country’s zydeco capital
Tampa’s historic cigar district
If gumbo is the taste of southern Louisiana’s melting pot culture, “zydeco is its musical counterpart,” said Chris Wohlwend in The New York Times. The raucous dance music blends African, European, and Caribbean influences into a feel-good stew that can be heard year-round at venues across the region. But there’s no better time to stomp along to some accordion and washboard than April 26–30, when more than 300,000 zydeco lovers trek to Lafayette for the Festival International de Louisiane. Acts from 25 countries play zydeco, rock, and jazz, and festival vendors serve up gumbo, jambalaya, étouffée, beignets, crawfish, and po’ boys. For a more intimate experience, head to Buck & Johnny’s café in the nearby hamlet of Breaux Bridge for the Saturday zydeco breakfast, where revelers knock back Bloody Marys and waltz to live music. Young and old, Cajun and Creole, the colorful crowd is “a microcosm of Louisiana’s culture.”
“Every minute of every day in Ybor City is a good time for a cigar,” said Jason Wilson in The Washington Post Magazine. In its heyday, this historic Tampa district had more than 150 cigar factories, outproducing even Havana. Today, only one large factory remains, but look through the windows of the chinchales, the small artisanal shops that run up and down Seventh Avenue, and you’ll see Cuban expats hand-rolling cigars. The store owners are as serious about stogies as master sommeliers are about wine, and my head was soon “swimming with new knowledge and terms.” Did I want box-pressed or round cigars, sun- or shade-grown wrappers, a thin or thick ring gauge? Thankfully, the clerk at King Corona Cigar Bar and Café acted as my guide and suggested a “particularly robust, particularly expensive” Nicaraguan Padrón. Sitting at a table outside, I sipped a milky coffee, puffed my peppery tobacco, and savored the strong Florida sunshine.
Last-minute travel deals Escape to the Cape Head to Kennebunkport, Maine, this spring and save up to 60 percent at the Cape Arundel Inn and Resort. The Cape Escape package, available through May 18, starts at $199 for Sunday–Thursday stays and $329 for weekends.
Southern savings Get an extra night free when you spend two or three nights at a Salamander resort in Virginia, Louisiana, or Florida. Doubles at the Salamander Resort and Spa in Middleburg, Va., start at $339. Book by April 21, for stays through Sept. 20.
Spring skiing After some record-breaking winter snowfall, California’s Mammoth Mountain ski resort is extending its season. From May 1 until July 4, lift tickets start at $71 and double rooms at $90, about half off peakseason rates.
mammothmountain.com THE WEEK April 21, 2017
The 2017 Honda Clarity: What the critics say Los Angeles Times “The science experiment is over. Hydrogen fuel cars are real.” Honda’s new zero-emissions sedan is far from the first hydrogen-powered car, but it is the first that manages to fit its fuel cell and electric motor under the hood, making the Clarity a legitimate five-seater. For now, it’s only available in California, and only on a lease set at $369 a month before tax credits and $15,000 in free fuel. An electric-powered Clarity will be rolled out later this year, followed by a plug-in hybrid. USA Today “Smooth and confident on the road,” the
Clarity “has the feel of an Acura, a car from Honda’s luxury line.” But “a painful surprise” may await anyone counting on the Clarity to go 366 miles on a tank, as the EPA promises. During our test, we finished with 286 miles on the odometer and only five miles’ worth of fuel left. That’s not terrible range— it’d beat a Tesla—but hydrogen filling stations are scarce for now, even in California. Detroit Free Press Still, “it’s easy to imagine thousands of people all over the country choosing the Clarity as their everyday vehicle”—if hydrogen becomes widely available. Though it’s possible a nationwide network of hydrogen
Honda’s lease-only hydrogen wonder stations will never emerge, this cleanrunning, spacious, and richly appointed Honda “makes a strong argument for one.”
The best of…pet furniture
Casper Dog Mattress
Rah Design MDK9 Dog Haus
Katris Modular Cat Tree
Available in three sizes and made by the team behind a popular memory-foam mattress for humans, this plush bed “will guarantee your pooch a solid snooze.” Casper offers free refunds for 100 days.
“And to think you figured the Casper Dog Mattress was a big step up.” This pooch penthouse is made from steel, concrete, and Brazilian teak. A nameplate and Jax & Bones bedding are included.
This set of corrugated cardboard blocks can be stacked in various configurations to suit your decor needs or kitty’s interests. They’re sturdy enough to use as shelving and they welcome regular clawing.
From $125, casper.com Source: RealSimple.com
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$200, katriscat.com Source: Wired.com
Sauder Natural Sphere Cat Tower “Cool enough to live in your living room,” this cat perch has two openings in its wicker dome, comes with a machinewashable cushion, and has a built-in scratching post and dangling toy. $235, sauder.com Source: O magazine
Louis Pet Bed Designed in the Louis XVI style, this handsome carved oak bed is for owners of miniature dogs who love their pups as much as the Bourbon king loved his toy poodles. From $399, restoration hardware.com Source: Forbes.com
Tip of the week… Plants that make good neighbors
And for those who have everything...
Tech support… How to keep your gadgets honest
QTomatoes and basil: Like the rest of the pairings below, tomato and basil plants help each other thrive when planted together. Basil emits a strong scent that repels pests, and the basil flower attracts pollinators. QLettuce and tomatoes: Lettuce needs shade, so it likes being near tomatoes. It’s also happy near chives or garlic, which repel beetles and aphids. QBroccoli and calendula: Calendula offers a twin shield against aphids: Its sticky stem attracts and traps the pests, and its orange blossom lures in aphid-munching ladybugs. QRadishes and carrots: These two root vegetables do well together because radishes don’t compete for nutrients with the deeper tap roots on carrots. QMelons, squash, and flowering herbs: Squash and melons won’t grow if their flowers aren’t pollinated. Invite the bees and butterflies in by planting dill, fennel, or parsley.
Grilling season is right around the corner, but instead of running out to stock up on propane or charcoal, why not harness the power of the sun? The GoSun Grill uses parabolic reflectors to focus 250 watts of solar power on a vacuum-sealed tube, which reaches temperatures up to 425 degrees. The portable 30-pound cooker “can grill, bake, or broil anything you throw in it.” As long as you don’t let the sun go down on your picnic, “the only limitation you’ll face using this is remembering to bring the paper plates.”
QBlind your webcams. Now that we’ve all heard the CIA can spy on us through certain smart TVs, it’s time to reassess what data your internet-connected devices are collecting. Hackers can hijack a computer’s webcam, for example, so use tape or a webcam cover to block the lens when you don’t need it. QLimit tracking. Many apps, including Facebook, ask to use your location or your phone’s microphone. In your phone’s settings, you can choose which apps have access to which data. While you’re at it, consider turning off your phone’s voice-recognition functions—better known as Hey Siri (iOS) or OK Google (Android). Some smart TVs log information on your viewing habits, too, so search the menu to disable data collecting. QStrengthen your passwords. You probably know strong passwords are a must to keep hackers at bay. But whenever possible, establish two-factor authentication as well.
Source: Country Living THE WEEK April 21, 2017
$799, gosunstove.com Source: HiConsumption.com
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Introduction to Formal Logic
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Best properties on the market
This week: Homes with guesthouses
1 W Palisades, N.Y. Diane Sawyer and Mike Nichols once lived in this 1920s stone house set on the Palisades cliffs overlooking the Hudson River. Details of the three-bedroom home include wide-plank pine floors, hand-hewn beams, and four fireplaces. The 2-acre property has a pool and a one-room stone cottage. $4,600,000. Richard Ellis, Ellis/ Sothebyâ€™s International Realty, (914) 393-0438
5 3 1
6 2 W Somerset, Colo. Set on 146 acres, this seven-bedroom ranch lies
along the Anthracite Creek, a private trout stream. The 7,785-squarefoot house features a two-story stone fireplace, hardwood floors, high ceilings, and oversize windows with views of the mountains. Guests have private access to a one-bedroom log cabin. $2,999,000. Michael Latousek, Douglas Elliman Real Estate, (970) 925-8810
3 X East Blue Hill, Maine Beep Lo is a three-
bedroom home named after a Victorian-era seafaring term. Details include cherry flooring, large windows that provide views of Blue Hill Bay, and a master suite with a fireplace and a Douglas fir wall. Thereâ€™s a one-bedroom guesthouse with a kitchen and laundry facilities. $1,395,000. The Knowles Co., (207) 276-3322
THE WEEK April 21, 2017
Best properties on the market
4 S Lafayette, Calif. This five-bedroom house sits on 8.5 acres
in an unincorporated area called Happy Valley. Built in 1979, the home features French doors, a master bedroom with a deck, and a remodeled chef’s kitchen with a large breakfast bar. The 750-square-foot guesthouse has one bedroom, a full kitchen, and a living room with a fireplace. $3,550,000. Dana Green, Pacific Union/Christie’s International Real Estate, (925) 339-1918
Steal of the week
5 S Geneva, Ill.
The Fargo Estate is a limestone Mission Revival home built in 1899. The fourbedroom house includes an oak staircase, pocket doors, ornate fireplaces, coffered ceilings, and a billiard room. The 1.6-acre property has a coach house with a home office and a studio apartment. $2,745,000. Judy Gibbons and Amy Pritchard, Jameson/ Sotheby’s International Realty, (847) 274-4983
6 S Dallas This two-bedroom cottage was built in 1965 in the Little Forest Hills neighborhood. Features include Brazilian koa wood floors, a remodeled kitchen, and a large screened porch. A twobedroom, one-bathroom guesthouse is set behind the home and links to a garage with a workshop. $427,000. RoseMarie LaCoursiere, Ebby Halliday Realtors, (214) 886-4880 THE WEEK April 21, 2017
The bottom line QTax preparers top the list of professions with the highest rate of workers older than 66, with 14.2 percent of preparers past retirement age. Next are clergy (13.6 percent), farmers and ranchers (12.7), bus and ambulance drivers (12.6), and real estate brokers (11.7).
Time.com QNinety-five percent of American consumers made at least one trip to Walmart last year, and more than 80 percent of consumers spent money at McDonald’s and Target. Amazon only reached 42 percent of U.S. consumers in 2016, even though it has more online sales than any other company.
Qz.com QFifteen years after the intro-
duction of the euro banknote, more than $16 billion worth of outdated cash and coins, including Italian lira, German deutsche marks, and French francs, have not been exchanged. About a third of this total is now worthless. Deadlines for exchanging banknotes have expired in France, Italy, Finland, and Greece. Bloomberg.com QThe beer industry could
lose more than $2 billion in retail sales if marijuana is legalized nationwide, according to a study by consulting firm Cannabiz Consumer Group. Some 27 percent of beer drinkers said they’ve already substituted cannabis for beer or would switch if marijuana became legal in their state. Forbes.com QGeneral Electric might sell its consumer lighting business—including its iconic light bulbs—as it focuses more on heavy industrial machinery and health-care equipment. This year marks the 125th anniversary of General Electric’s founding by Thomas Edison, the inventor of the first commercially viable incandescent light bulb.
The Wall Street Journal THE WEEK April 21, 2017
BUSINESS The news at a glance The Fed: Yellen will let economy ‘coast’ Part of this shift in stratThe Federal Reserve’s era of egy involves unwinding the aggressive economic stimulus Fed’s massive balance sheet, is “coming to an end,” said said Ana Swanson in The David Harrison in The Wall Washington Post. At its Street Journal. Speaking at the March meeting, the central University of Michigan this bank discussed plans to start week, Fed chair Janet Yellen “paring back” the $4.5 trilsaid the central bank is movlion in Treasury bonds and ing past its recession-era efforts mortgage-backed securities it to reinvigorate the economy. Yellen: Economy on cruise control amassed during the financial Going forward, the bank will focus on maintaining recent gains, and will gradu- crisis. The process, however, could take years, because the Fed wants to avoid roiling markets ally raise interest rates unless the economy suffers by selling off assets too quickly. “I think the a major setback. “Where before we had our foot operative word here is going to be ‘gradual,’” pressed down on the gas pedal, trying to give the economy all the oomph we possibly could,” Yellen said Josh Feinman, global chief economist for Deutsche Asset Management. “They’re not going said, “now [we’re] allowing the economy to kind to want to go cold turkey.” of coast and remain on an even keel.”
Banks: More pay clawbacks at Wells Fargo Wells Fargo will claw back $75 million in compensation from two former executives for their role in the bank’s sham accounts debacle, said Nathan Bomey and Kevin McCoy in USAToday.com. The bank said this week that it’s clawing back an additional $28 million in pay from former CEO John Stumpf, and $47.3 million from community banking leader Carrie Tolstedt; both had already been ordered to give back millions. The move comes after the release of the bank’s internal investigation, which found that the former executives “acted too slowly to investigate allegations of ‘improper and unethical behavior’” by employees opening fake accounts.
Japan: Toshiba’s future in doubt “Toshiba may not survive its deepening crisis,” said Sherisse Pham in CNN.com. The Japanese industrial conglomerate said this week there is “substantial doubt” about whether it can continue after last month’s bankruptcy of its American nuclear power business, Westinghouse Electric, which could leave Toshiba with a $9.2 billion loss for the current fiscal year. To survive, Toshiba may have to sell its lucrative computer chip business. Taiwan-based Foxconn has reportedly offered $27 billion for the chip unit, but the Japanese government is hoping to rally potential buyers to keep it in the country.
Banks: Barclays CEO tried to unmask whistleblower Barclays could be in more legal trouble, said Gregory Katz in the Associated Press. The British bank said this week that CEO Jes Staley is under investigation by regulators in the U.S. and U.K. for trying to learn the identity of a whistleblower who wrote anonymous letters to the company’s board in 2016 that raised concerns about the bank’s recruitment practices. The inquiry “follows other run-ins with authorities by Barclays,” including the 2012 Libor rate-rigging scandal.
Food: Panera gobbled up by European coffee empire Europe’s JAB Holding Co. is continuing its food business buying spree, said Stephanie Strom and Chad Bray in The New York Times. JAB last week purchased fast-casual chain Panera in a deal worth $7.5 billion. Over the past several years, JAB has spent some $40 billion on American coffee brands Peet’s Coffee, Caribou Coffee, and Keurig Green Mountain, and on Krispy Kreme doughnuts and Einstein Brothers bagels. JAB is the investment arm of the immensely wealthy and extremely private Reimann family of Germany. The firm appears to be betting that its brands can take on Starbucks and Nestlé.
Tesla’s parking nightmare Billionaire Elon Musk spends his days “reimagining the future of transportation,” from self-driving cars to supersonic railways. “What keeps him up at night, though, is the parking lot outside his office window,” said Tim Higgins in The Wall Street Journal. The rapid expansion at Musk’s electric car firm, Tesla, where the head count has surged 75 percent over the past two years—has brought with it “parking hell.” The lot at Tesla’s Palo Alto, Calif., headquarters is so jam-packed, some employees arrive hours early to score a space, sleeping in their cars until work starts. At the Tesla factory in Fremont, where 6,000 workers compete for 4,500 spaces, “cars are jammed diagonally in spots [and] propped up on curbs.” There’s even an expletivelaced Instagram account dedicated to the worst offenders. “Parking is, like, one of my biggest nightmares,” Musk said on a recent earnings call.
Financial literacy: Raising money-savvy kids money you earn.” Handing out “Parents want their kids to be finanpocket change starting when chilcially savvy, yet many of them aren’t dren are about 3 can help them undoing the best job of teaching them derstand that money has value and how to handle their money,” said can even be used to buy things they Darla Mercado in CNBC.com. About want. “A good way of encouragnine out of 10 parents said that they ing saving at any age is to reward don’t talk with their kids regularly them, either by matching what about saving, according to a recent they put aside or agreeing to put survey by Ally Financial. Even so, something toward it.” Shopping 83 percent of parents said saving is one trips are a “great opportunity” to of the most important financial skills learn about needs versus wants, for children to learn. Apparently, the said Trae Bodge in USNews.com. “taboo aspect” of money “is getting in Try giving young kids a “treat budthe way of some very productive steps Don’t link a regular allowance with chores. get,” which they can either spend moms and dads could be taking with throughout the day or save for another time. their children.” Parents can start to make money matters less off-limits by looking for everyday opportunities to talk about finances, said Tom Anderson, also in CNBC.com. That could be Avoid linking an allowance to chores, said Beth Kobliner in PBS .org. Pitching in around the house should be a part of family life something as simple as how you calculated a tip, or what you and helps teach kids responsibility and the importance of helping saved with coupons during a trip to the grocery store. “These others. The point of an allowance is to teach financial literacy. conversations don’t have to be earth-shattering,” says Roger Of course, you can pay your kid for odd jobs that go beyond his Young, a certified financial planner at T. Rowe Price. or her usual responsibilities, “but that’s work, not allowance.” Money can seem “almost invisible” to kids, said Joan McFadden Too many parents have been foiled by kids who decide that it’s worth losing $10 to leave their bed unmade. “Unless you’re willin TheGuardian.com. In this age of online shopping and ining to negotiate each time you want your kid to empty the dishternet banking, many of them rarely handle hard currency. “If washer or put his clothes in the hamper, steer clear of systems they do, it tends to be notes coming out of a cash machine, that pay per chore.” so start young and tell them that the bank is looking after the
What the experts say A cruel season for homebuyers Purchasing a home this spring “promises to be the toughest for buyers in a decade,” said Laura Kusisto in The Wall Street Journal. Rising home prices and mortgage rates, combined with “inventory near 20-year lows,” are making it a distinct sellers’ market in cities across the country. “Homes are selling an average of eight days faster than last year,” according to real estate site Redfin, as buyers rush to scoop up what’s available. The shortage has caused home prices to grow at the fastest rate since mid-2014, increasing 5.9 percent in January from the previous year. “It isn’t just hot spots like Seattle and Denver that are seeing scarce supplies of homes for sale,” but also locales like Minneapolis, Cleveland, and Nashville.
City-run retirement plans nixed The Senate just voted to kill an Obama-era Labor Department rule “that would have made it easier for major cities to launch retirement plans for workers who don’t have access to one through their job,” said Jonnelle Marte in The Washington Post. The resolution, which President Trump is expected to sign, complicates plans currently under consideration by several major cities—including New York City, Seattle, and Philadelphia—to address the retirement savings shortfall.
Charity of the week About 55 million Americans can’t get a retirement plan through their job, according to AARP. Under city-sponsored plans, workers would have been automatically enrolled, with contributions deducted directly from their paychecks; they would also have been able to opt out. Many Republicans and business groups objected, arguing “that states and cities shouldn’t be creating retirement plans.” The Senate is now expected to take up a similar resolution affecting state-sponsored plans.
Loan forgiveness in limbo More than 550,000 people have been promised that their federal student loans will be forgiven after 10 years of public service work, said Stacy Cowley in The New York Times. “But now, some of those workers are left to wonder if the government will hold up its end of the bargain.” A recent legal filing by the Department of Education says that approval letters sent by the loan forgiveness program’s administrator “are not binding and can be rescinded at any time.” The news comes as the first qualified workers are nearing the end of their 10-year commitment. The forgiveness program, approved by Congress in 2007, covers “a diverse group that includes public school employees, museum workers, doctors at public hospitals, and firefighters.”
One in 8 U.S. women will develop invasive breast cancer over the course of her lifetime. More than 250,000 are expected to be diagnosed with the disease in the U.S. this year alone. Living Beyond Breast Cancer (lbbc.org) offers reliable breast cancer information and resources for women at all stages of the disease: those newly diagnosed, receiving treatment, or recovering. Since its inception in 1991, LBBC has connected patients and survivors with online and phone support, community meetings, and national conferences so that no woman feels she is suffering alone. The organization helps women learn about different medical options and to access emotional support services for handling the stress of the disease. LBBC’s help line, which is staffed by trained volunteers who have themselves been diagnosed with breast cancer, is confidential and available 12 hours a day. Each charity we feature has earned a four-star overall rating from Charity Navigator, which rates not-for-profit organizations on the strength of their finances, their governance practices, and the transparency of their operations. Four stars is the group’s highest rating. THE WEEK April 21, 2017
Best columns: Business
Issue of the week: The economy’s partisan divide
Why we still need Wall Street William Cohan
Los Angeles Times
The coming student loan debt bomb Rana Foroohar
THE WEEK April 21, 2017
“If we want to actually fix what’s wrong with Wall Street, we will need to stop mindlessly villainizing it,” said William Cohan. Modern finance has many flaws, but “our way of life would not be remotely possible” without it. Wall Street is the reason air travel is affordable, the internet is ubiquitous, and millions of credit card owners have access to credit—because Wall Street “provides capital at a fair price to people who want it.” Yet it “has become shorthand for everything that is wrong with the American economic system.” Of course, major financial firms earned much of their terrible reputation through their role in the financial crisis. Reck-
less bankers and traders collected huge bonuses to package shoddy mortgages that they should have known would never be paid back. But “they did so because that’s exactly what they got paid to do.” Fixing that problem “requires a scalpel, not a sledgehammer.” If President Trump is smart, he’ll demand that Wall Street change its compensation system “to reward prudent risk-taking and accountability,” and in exchange, he will scrap regulations that make it harder to do business. That way, Wall Street can continue to play its “essential role while also penalizing bankers, traders, and executives if they dare to blow things up again.”
Student loan debt is starting to look a lot like the housing bubble, said Rana Foroohar. “Rapid runups in debt are the single biggest predictor of market trouble,” and student loan debt has grown by 170 percent over the past 10 years—to an incredible $1.4 trillion. The average college graduate now carries about $34,000 in debt, a burden that has been linked to everything from decreased homeownership to marital problems and depression. Making matters worse, many students holding debt don’t even graduate, meaning they miss out on the income boost provided by a college degree. What can be done? We should start by looking at for-profit colleges,
“where default rates are more than double those” at private schools. Increased transparency would also help. Only a quarter of first-year college students can predict their debt load within 10 percent of the correct future amount. We can’t ignore this problem forever. “In an eerie echo of the housing crisis, debt is already flowing out of the private sector, and into the public,” with 90 percent of new loans originating with the Department of Education. Apparently, “socialization of risk” is how America deals with its debt bubbles now, as with the infamous bank bailouts. Perhaps if we made college free we could at least socialize the benefits of education as well.
has never had as large an impact on conThe latest jobs numbers are in and they’re sumers’ economic expectations.” “surprisingly lackluster,” said Jim Puzzanghera in the Los Angeles Times. The economy But then rarely have economic indicators added just 98,000 new jobs in March, “a “sent such mixed signals,” said The Econolittle more than half of what economists had mist. “Soft” data like business and conexpected.” Analysts blamed severe winter sumer confidence are surging, while some weather in the Northeast for pushing job “hard” economic data are not particularly growth down to the lowest level in nearly a impressive. The Atlanta Federal Reserve, year. “But there also was some good news.” for example, put annualized growth in the The unemployment rate fell to 4.5 percent, year’s first quarter at a sluggish 1.2 percent, “its lowest level in nearly a decade,” and wages continued to show solid growth. Dem- Republicans foresee a boom, Dems a bust. far short of President Trump’s wildly ambitious promise of 4 percent. Industrial proocrats pooh-poohed the jobs numbers as “disappointing,” said Danny Vinik in Politico.com. But it wasn’t that duction is flat, and “banks have slowed business lending dramatilong ago that Democrats were defending similar reports. “It’s not cally.” Despite all that, the stock market is up 10 percent since the election. But if Trump isn’t able to deliver on his promises of hard to decipher” what’s changed since then: “Barack Obama tax cuts and deregulation—an open question after the failure of left the White House, and Donald Trump entered it.” the health-care reform bill—“the economic elation may subside.” Data like unemployment, inflation, and consumer spending are In the meantime, jobs number are the wrong ones to focus on increasingly becoming political “Rorschach tests,” said Nelson “at this stage of the recovery,” said Neil Irwin in The New York Schwartz in The New York Times, “with Republicans convinced Times. “When the economy is at risk of falling into a recession that a boom is at hand, and Democrats foreseeing an imminent or struggling to grow out of one, the change in the jobs numrecession.” Before the election, in October, the University of bers really is the best single number to understand the state of Michigan’s consumer expectations index was at 61.1 among Republicans, “the kind of reading typically reported in the depths of the economy.” But now that we’re near full employment, other a recession.” Democrats, on the other hand, notched an optimis- data points, like wage growth, are far more useful. March wages tic 95.4 reading. By March, Republicans’ expectations had soared were strong, but after years of sluggish gains, “there’s plenty of room” for pay to rise further. Then there’s the employment-toto 122.5, “equivalent to levels registered in boom times,” while population ratio, which rose from 78.3 percent to 78.5 percent in Democrats “were even more pessimistic than Republicans had March for workers between 25 and 54. That’s progress, but still been” in the fall. The sudden reversal has stunned economists. below its most recent high of 80.3 percent in 2007. The numbers “We’ve never recorded this before,” said Richard Curtin, who still matter, but we have to pay attention to the right ones. directs the University of Michigan’s survey. “The partisan divide
Obituaries The comedian who insulted his way to fame Don Rickles was working at a cramped strip club 1926–2017 in Washington, D.C., in the 1950s when he found his comic voice. “The customers were right on top of you, always heckling,” the stand-up comedian recalled. “And I began giving it right back to them.” Over the next five decades, the razor-sharp New Yorker became the definitive insult comic, mercilessly pelting audience members with zingers about their looks, weight, spouses, and ethnicity. “Is that your wife, sir?” he asked one audience member. “Jesus. What was it, a train?” Nicknamed the Merchant of Venom, Rickles spared no one— and audiences loved it. “I’m the guy who makes fun of the boss on Friday night,” he said, “and still has his job on Monday morning.” Don Rickles
Born in Queens, Rickles was “the only child of an insurance salesman father and a housewife mother,” said the Los Angeles Times. Following two years in the Navy in World War II, and an unsuccessful tryout as a salesman, he enrolled at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, where his classmates included Grace Kelly and Jason Robards. But after graduating he struggled to win serious roles, and so changed career paths, performing stand-up in “third-rate clubs” and
strip joints. “His reputation was established in 1957 when he noticed the oftencombative Frank Sinatra in the audience at a nightclub in Miami Beach,” said The Washington Post. “Hey, Frank, make yourself at home,” Rickles told the singer. “Hit somebody.” Sinatra erupted in laughter and became one of the comedian’s biggest boosters. Performing mainly in Los Angeles and Las Vegas, Rickles “delighted in tweaking the rich and mighty.” When he made his first appearance on The Tonight Show in 1965, he greeted host Johnny Carson with the words “Hi, dumb-dumb.” Rickles acted in several short-lived TV shows, said The New York Times. His “unscripted brand of humor proved an uneasy fit” for the small screen, but he had better luck in films, starring in Martin Scorsese’s Casino (1995) and voicing Mr. Potato Head in the Toy Story franchise. Rickles continued performing stand-up well into his 80s. Famously affable offstage, he got away with “slurs and stereotypes” long considered verboten for other comedians. “If I were to insult people and mean it, that wouldn’t be funny,” Rickles explained. “There’s a difference between an actual insult and a friendly jab.”
The screenwriter who became a Hollywood exile In 1951, Jean Rouverol opened the front door of her Hollywood 1916–2017 home to find two men in suits waiting outside. The actress and screenwriter instantly knew who they were: FBI agents aiding Sen. Joseph McCarthy’s crackdown on Hollywood left-wingers. Several of her friends had been jailed for refusing to testify before the House Un-American Activities Committee. So when the agents asked to speak with her husband, Hugo Butler, the screenwriter of such wholesome movies as Lassie Come Home and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Rouverol put her acting skills to use. “I said, on the verge of tears, ‘We had a little disagreement. I don’t know where he’s gone,’” she later recalled. The men said, “We’ll be back.” Before they could return, Rouverol and her husband, both Communist Party members, fled to Mexico with their four children. The family wouldn’t return to the U.S. for another 13 years. Alamy, Everett Collection
Born in St. Louis, Rouverol was inspired to enter show business by her playwright mother, Aurania, who created the Andy Hardy character popularized on screen by Mickey Rooney, said The Times (U.K.). At age 16, Rouverol made
her acting debut on Broadway; the poverty she saw in New York City would shape her political sympathies. After winning a contract with Paramount, Rouverol was cast as W.C. Fields’ self-involved daughter in the 1934 comedy It’s a Gift. She married Butler in 1940 and began writing “after starting a family,” said the Los Angeles Times. By 1950, her first screenplay, the reform school drama So Young, So Bad, had been made into a movie starring a thenunknown “Rita Moreno as a suicidal teen.” After escaping to Mexico, Rouverol and Butler were often spied on and had to use “pseudonyms and fronts” to get around the Hollywood blacklist, said The Hollywood Reporter. Their script for the 1956 Joan Crawford drama Autumn Leaves was credited to a friend, Jack Jevne, but the FBI still intercepted their paycheck in the mail. The couple returned to the U.S. in 1964, and Rouverol received Daytime Emmy nominations in 1976 and 1978 for her work on the CBS soap opera Guiding Light. She often missed her old cloakand-dagger life. “I wouldn’t change a moment of it,” she said. “We were periodically terrified. But we felt like some curious kind of pioneer.”
35 The clergyman who became a job-search guru Richard Bolles turned job hunting into an art form. In 1970, the Episcopal priest self-published What Color Is Your Parachute?, a manual on how to look for work Richard and change Bolles careers. The 1927–2017 title was inspired by conversations with unhappy parishioners who complained they wanted to “bail out” of their jobs, and Bolles—who had shifted profession several times—offered folksy, practical advice about everything from how to identify your own talents to how to ace an interview. To Bolles’ enduring surprise, the book was picked up by an independent publisher and went on to sell more than 10 million copies worldwide. “I was just trying to help people be better prepared than I was when I was fired and started looking for a job,” Bolles said in 2014. Born in Milwaukee, Bolles studied chemistry and physics in college but was inspired to become a clergyman, said The New York Times. After he’d served as an Episcopal priest for nearly 20 years, his position was eliminated in a budget crunch, and he spent six months anxiously searching for work while he and his young family lived in a motel. He eventually landed a job “helping chaplains at campuses in seven Western states find new careers.” They were the initial audience for his job-search manual. Bolles updated Parachute every year, said The Washington Post. While he acknowledged that the internet had shaken up the jobhunting process, he insisted that the book’s “central wisdom had remained the same since the 1970s.” Job interviews are still just “two people circling each other, trying to figure out if they like each other enough to actually spend time together in a productive relationship,” Bolles said. “Human nature has not changed.” THE WEEK April 21, 2017
The last word
When your child is an addict John and Leigh Ann Wilson fought to get treatment for their heroin-addicted daughter, said journalist Max Blau. But in a town where one in four residents is hooked on opioids, the odds were stacked against them.
HE WHITE CAR had stopped in the middle of the highway. The driver was slumped behind the wheel, her breaths faint and few.
that day, with heroin. Her addiction, like so many others, had started with prescription pain pills. But as lawmakers cracked down on pill mills, drug users across West Virginia and the nation turned to heroin. Taylor did, too. It was more convenient to get, and often cheaper. It was also more deadly, especially when spiked with synthetic opioids like fentanyl or an elephant tranquilizer known as carfentanil, so potent that a dose the size of two salt grains could kill.
Her head was bobbing, chin to chest; her pupils were the size of pinpoints. The car was strewn with syringes. Paramedics inserted a needle of naloxone, an opioid antidote, into her left arm—the one with fewer scars. A minute passed. Two. At last, Taylor Wilson’s eyes flickered open.
Taylor’s overdose was the first A photo of Taylor, who dreamed of becoming a librarian of 28 that would be reported in Huntington, W. Va., a small city on the yers immobilized by addiction. It’s so bad Spiked batches of heroin had the potential Ohio River, in the span of five hours on that the mayor carries around a naloxone to ravage a whole town. One day last sumAug. 15, 2016. Frantic calls flooded in to injector in case he encounters an overdose mer, there were 17 overdoses in Akron, 911: Heroin users were passed out on dinvictim. The city has tried setting up a needle Ohio. Another day, there were 10 in ing room floors and in convenience store exchange, hiring a drug czar, even suing the Columbus. The cluster in Huntington was bathrooms. “People are coming here and drug companies that brought pain pills to one of the worst. Two of the 28 drug users dying,” one caller said. The horror of that the state. None of those tactics has stopped who overdosed on that day died. And many afternoon made national news: CNN, Fox the epidemic. who survived got no treatment beyond the News, the Associated Press. “There doesn’t seem to be enough emphasis jolt of naloxone to revive them. Then the reporters left. Taylor’s story, on what we’re losing,” John Wilson said, That’s a familiar problem. West Virginia though, was just beginning. fighting the tears falling down his face. officials estimate 150,000 residents—8 percent of the state’s population—needed subHer parents, John and Leigh Ann Wilson, HE OVERDOSE THAT left Taylor stance abuse treatment in 2016. Just a fifth would spend the next 41 days trying to get slumped behind the wheel of her help for their blue-eyed bookworm, who white Kia Soul was her third in a year. of them received help from treatment prohad recently turned 21. They drove door to Her dad had found her after her first, in the viders belonging to the state’s top behavioral health association. And only 156 detox beds door in search of inpatient treatment beds summer of 2015. He’d heard a loud thump were available across the entire state. to isolate Taylor from her heroin world. in the lower level of his house. Taylor was They sought out medicine to curb her crav- unconscious. After her second, in March After her third overdose, when her car ings. They even wrestled with whether to stopped in the middle of traffic, Taylor of last year, Leigh Ann had received an have their daughter involuntarily committed anonymous call saying Taylor had recently called her mom from St. Mary’s Medical to a hospital. Center. The paramedics had brought her entered cardiac arrest and almost died. there, and she needed a ride home. As longtime health-care professionals, the Leigh Ann placed Taylor on leave from Wilsons thought they knew how to naviAt wit’s end, Leigh Ann asked John if they her college classes at Marshall University gate the system. Leigh Ann had worked should commit Taylor involuntarily to a in Huntington and her job at the Wendy’s for years as a paramedic before becoming psychiatric hospital using a legal document drive-through window. She made counta home health worker; John was the lead known as a mental hygiene order. John less calls before she found a bed at Karen’s residential therapist at an Ohio facility for knew such an order would have repercusPlace, an all-women’s Christian treatment troubled adolescent boys. They both had a sions; their daughter could lose her ability center just across the Kentucky state line. sense of the hard road ahead. to own a gun or hold government jobs The Wilsons scraped together $4,000 for requiring security clearance. But Leigh Ann a 28-day inpatient program that included But for 41 days, they ran into roadblocks reasoned that such consequences wouldn’t counseling, spiritual mentoring, and Narfar greater than they’d ever imagined. matter if they had to bury Taylor. cotics Anonymous meetings. On the 42nd, a beautiful Sunday in late A judge met with Taylor in the hospital and With 12 days left, Taylor checked herself September, Taylor overdosed again. This presented two options: Comply with your out. She soon got back together with her time, no one was able to call 911 in time. parents, avoiding a messy court hearing, or boyfriend, who had a long rap sheet of Here in Huntington, population 49,000, defend your competency in court. Taylor drug offenses and was also addicted. health officials estimate a staggering one chose the former. The following month, Taylor turned 21. in four residents is dependent on opioids, Before dawn on Aug. 16, a police offiShe celebrated her birthday with a new from squalling newborns shaking with cer transported Taylor in handcuffs to hairdo, paid for by her mother—and later withdrawal symptoms to powerful lawTHE WEEK April 21, 2017
Andrew Spear (2)
The last word Charleston’s Highland Hospital for detox. The lead psychiatrist there diagnosed her with addiction and depression. Leigh Ann thought Taylor, once detoxed, should enter a residential recovery program. Four years earlier, Leigh Ann had admitted herself to Prestera’s inpatient treatment center for alcoholism and depression. Knowing her daughter, she doubted anything less would cut it. Highland’s psychiatrist, however, decided Taylor should be released after seven days with a recommendation for outpatient counseling. That isn’t uncommon: It’s hard to get insurers to pay for more than a week to 10 days of inpatient treatment.
so much as her life grew more stressful. Taylor had helped identify the Ohio dealer who allegedly sold her heroin on the day she overdosed. It was that same batch of drugs, apparently spiked with synthetic opioids, that had killed two people and sent 25 others to the brink of death on that August day. Taylor was expected to testify against the dealer later in the month; if she failed to show up, she could end up in jail. By this time, Taylor had come around to her mother’s belief that a bed in a supervised facility was better than outpatient care. She talked to a crisis counselor at
37 well, so she didn’t put up a fight. Taylor headed out around 6 p.m. to pick up her friend John Stiltner. There was indeed an N.A. meeting, and they attended; John even texted Leigh Ann to let her know. After the meeting, John and Taylor cruised Huntington’s back streets. Past the nickel plant, Taylor pulled over at a stop sign. They waited. John had earlier noticed Taylor on the phone. Now a dealer approached Taylor’s car. It was a quick exchange: She pulled out $80 and the dealer gave her a half-gram of what looked like heroin. “What the f--- are you doing?” John asked. “It’s not for me,” she replied.
Days after her discharge, Taylor received even more bad news: She had contracted hepatitis C, likely as the result of sharing needles with her boyfriend. It could be treated, but she’d have to stay away from needles. She believed medicationassisted treatment was necessary to help her withstand withdrawals. “It’s the only way I’ll make it,” Taylor told her mother.
John demanded to be taken home. Once Taylor dropped him off, he made a point of not texting her all night, hoping to teach her a lesson.
Evidence suggests that the combination of counseling and prescription drugs to reduce cravings can be more effective Leigh Ann tried to get Taylor inpatient treatment. than abstinence or 12-step programs. But West Virginia lawmakers, concerned users might trade one addiction for another, Prestera, admitting that a few days earlier she’d relapsed with a small amount of have restricted the availability of medicaheroin that made her vomit. The counselor tion. The demand for treatment has far advised her to call the following day at outstripped supply. 8:01 a.m. to see if any beds had opened. Taylor put her name on Prestera’s waiting The sun was on the cusp of rising the next list for Suboxone, an opioid-based drug that reduces withdrawal symptoms. No one day as mother and daughter readied for their mission. Before 8 a.m., Leigh Ann told her how long she might have to wait, pulled out of the driveway, heading toward but she’d heard it could be months. Prestera, ready to drop Taylor off immediTaylor had agreed that while waiting for ately if beds were available. At 8:01 a.m., treatment she would live at her father’s Taylor called. No beds were open. A crisis house. She had two conditions: access to counselor urged her to consider intensive library books and the ability to write to her outpatient treatment instead. Her dope sickfriend John Stiltner II, a recovering heroin ness, the counselor said, “wasn’t that bad.” addict who’d sent her a letter during her hospital stay. John Wilson had strict rules— Taylor dialed down a list of nearly three no computer, no cellphone, and no car—but dozen treatment centers. Time and again, she got either voicemail or receptionists agreed to those conditions if he could read saying they were full for the day. Try again Taylor’s letters before she mailed them. tomorrow, they said. In late August, John decided to keep his AYLOR SPENT HER third week in long-standing plans for a vacation. He September waiting for her court couldn’t trust Taylor at home alone, so he appearance. After her testimony, she asked her to stay with her mother. seemed herself, gushing to her mom about At her mom’s house, Taylor kept her head a cute detective. In that moment, Leigh Ann down in World War II books. And she kept thought everything might be fine, so long as in touch with Stiltner through letters and treatment arrived in time. text messages on a phone she had managed As the week drew to a close, Taylor asked to keep hidden from her dad. her mom for her car keys. “Where are Taylor started attending N.A. meetings you going?” Leigh Ann asked. “An N.A. three times a week and looking for a sober- meeting,” Taylor replied. Leigh Ann wasn’t living apartment. But the meetings did only sure she believed her, but she wasn’t feeling
Night had fallen by the time Taylor walked into the house. She snacked on some Kroger barbecued chicken on the blue couch in the lower level. Leigh Ann walked downstairs before 11 p.m. to find Taylor watching TV. “You look tired,” Taylor told her mom. “Why don’t you go to bed?” With her mom gone, Taylor pulled out the drugs she had bought. The early fall evening still felt like summer, so she stood outside in the cul-de-sac just after midnight, firing off texts. A neighbor last saw her outside around 1 a.m. As Leigh Ann woke up on Sunday, she noticed the TV’s hum. It sounded like Taylor had left it on all night. So she went to check. Taylor was slumped on the blue couch, motionless. Her skin was cold as ice. The autopsy would later conclude that Taylor had died of an overdose of opioids: fentanyl, carfentanil, furanylfentanyl, morphine, and hydrocodone. But no heroin. The night Taylor overdosed, Leigh Ann sat in the lower level, curtains closed, and downed four beers. It was her worst relapse since her treatment for alcoholism. She hardly ate or slept for three days. On the fourth, she pulled it together to plan Taylor’s funeral and purchase cemetery plots for her daughter and herself. Before she left home, Leigh Ann’s cellphone rang. The voice on the other end, full of excitement, had good news. Taylor had cleared the Suboxone waiting list. Excerpted from an article that was originally published by StatNews.com. Reprinted with permission. THE WEEK April 21, 2017
The Puzzle Page
Crossword No. 404: ‘I’m Blue’ by Matt Gaffney 1
The Week Contest 10
20 23 26
42 46 51
44 48 53
THE WEEK April 21, 2017
SECOND PLACE: “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Whining” —Ken Kellam III, Dallas
ACROSS 1 Lo mein option 7 “And there it is!” 10 Sprint 14 ___ Republic 15 Sch. where Larry Bird played college ball 16 Magazine with Anne Hathaway on its April 2017 cover 17 Maestro Toscanini 18 Move in a diagonal pattern 19 Tax specialists, briefly 20 Restaurant proposal 21 Kentucky-based chain (voiced by Mandy Patinkin) 23 Thy, now 25 Dress down 26 No. 2 hit for Gerry Rafferty in 1978 (voiced by Gordon Ramsay) 31 Suggestion 32 Claim on a property 33 Squads 38 Largest underground part of a tree 40 “Don’t worry about it” 42 Post of manners 43 1960s role for Ronny 45 Like good soufflé 46 Moneymaker for the DMV (voiced by Tituss Burgess) 49 Sculptor’s tool 53 Furthermore 54 No slap on the wrist (voiced by Joe Manganiello)
56 Result of converting a 7-10 split 61 Away from the wind 62 Reward for a sac fly 63 Org. of wealthy nations including the USA, Fr., and Can. 64 Bulgarian or Czech 65 Golfer nicknamed “the Big Easy” 66 Put in a blender, sometimes 67 “Encore!” 68 Largest city in Mich. 69 Blue creatures in a new animated movie, one of whose names starts each of the four theme entries DOWN 1 Go after a fly 2 Performer of noble acts 3 Moreno of West Side Story 4 Don on the waves 5 Maker of the ultimate sacrifice 6 Expert 7 Hard to explain 8 Opposite of “at your leisure” 9 Zimbabwe’s 93-yearold president 10 Curtains, rugs, etc. 11 Dominant 12 Bias 13 Steppenwolf novelist
This week’s question: An Italian restaurant in North Carolina saw business double recently when it decided to stop serving children under age 5. If the proprietor were to open a national chain of restaurants that barred all kids, what would it be called? Last week’s contest: The CEO of a Connecticut marketing company has developed a “snowflake test”—in which he asks job applicants when they last cried and whether they’re afraid of guns—to screen out Millennials who have “an entitled attitude.” If he were to write a management book based on his hiring philosophy, what would it be called? THE WINNER: “Cried and Prejudice” Patty Oberhausen, Fort Wayne, Ind.
21 Ring giver’s exhortation 22 German model since 1979 24 Nordic capital 26 Taste 27 Eden dude 28 French military hat 29 Middle name of a living U.S. president 30 Authorize 34 List-ending abbr. 35 Laos’ landmass 36 Commentator Kondracke 37 Scotland’s secondlargest island 39 “That’s not good” 41 Attention-getting shouts 44 Expert with keys 47 Batman’s butler 48 Play ___ (feign death) 49 Gulf 50 “Are you even paying attention?” 51 “My concern is...” 52 Comedic Carell 55 End for digest or convert 57 Cuzco’s country 58 Declare to be true 59 Hazard for a ship 60 Winds up 63 Pathfinder in a Pathfinder
THIRD PLACE: “You’ve Got Alpha-Male” Ken Liebman, Williston, Vt. For runners-up and complete contest rules, please go to theweek.com/contest. How to enter: Submissions should be emailed to email@example.com. Please include your name, address, and daytime telephone number for verification; this week, type “No kids” in the subject line. Entries are due by noon, Eastern Time, Tuesday, April 18. Winners will appear on the Puzzle Page next issue and at theweek.com/puzzles on Friday, April 21. In the case of identical or similar entries, the first one received gets credit.
W The winner gets a one-year subscription to The Week.
Sudoku Fill in all the boxes so that each row, column, and outlined square includes all the numbers from 1 through 9. Difficulty: hard
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Syria: Is there a new ‘Trump Doctrine’? “What a difference a few days have made,” said Scott Lehigh in The Boston Globe. Until last week, Do...
Published on Apr 16, 2017
Syria: Is there a new ‘Trump Doctrine’? “What a difference a few days have made,” said Scott Lehigh in The Boston Globe. Until last week, Do...