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The Week MagazineThe Week Magazine

The Week Magazine

August 30, 2019

The Week makes sense of the news by curating the best of the U.S. and international media into a succinct, lively digest.

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48 Numéros


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editor’s letter

Pure heresy. Treason! How else can one describe this week’s revolutionary revision of “the purpose of a corporation” by the Business Roundtable, a group of 188 CEOs of America’s most powerful companies. For 40 years, the corporate world has reverently knelt before libertarian economist Milton Friedman and his famed doctrine: “There is one and only one social responsibility of business,” Friedman said, and that is to “engage in activities designed to increase its profits.” CEOs worked for stockholders, and no one else. But in a fractious political climate in which populists from Fox News’ Tucker Carlson to presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren are questioning how well capitalism is serving Americans, nervous CEOs are having second thoughts. Corporate leaders, they say, should manage their businesses to benefit “all stakeholders”—employees, customers, and society…

access_time3 min.
trump’s response to recession fears

What happened President Trump responded with alarm this week to warning signs of a possible recession, first saying he wanted to cut taxes to stimulate the economy, then reversing course and insisting that “we don’t need it.” The White House has been shaken by a raft of troubling economic data, including a brief inversion of the bond yield curve that sent the Dow Jones industrial average plummeting by 800 points. An inverted yield curve, in which the value of 10-year Treasury notes dips below that of two-year notes, indicates investors are worried about the near-term future, and has preceded all seven of the last recessions. Other data show falling levels of capital investment and declining optimism among business owners, with GDP growth slowing to 2.1 percent. Three out of four economists…

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it wasn’t all bad

Seth Craven was sure he’d miss his son’s birth. The National Guard sergeant had flown from Afghanistan to Philadelphia, but his connecting flight to Charleston, W. Va., was canceled because of a storm, and all the rental cars were sold out. His wife, Julie, was due to have a C-section the next day. Then Charlene Vickers, another stranded flyer, heard his story and offered Craven a seat in her car. They drove for eight hours, and Craven, 26, arrived just in time to see baby Cooper born. “If it wasn’t for Charlene,” he said, “I never would have made it.” Maddy Freking was the only girl in this year’s Little League World Series, and only the 19th to play in its 72-year history. But it was the 12-year-old’s talent, not gender,…

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legal battle over the endangered species act

What happened Seven major environmental groups, including the Sierra Club, sued the Trump administration this week over new rules for enforcing the Endangered Species Act. The groups say the changes will gut the landmark law, which protects 1,663 imperiled animal and plant species. Under the new guidelines, species that are designated as “threatened” will no longer get the same protections as those deemed “endangered,” though species already on the “threatened” list will be exempt from the changes. Officials will be barred from protecting habitats of threatened species unless they can “reasonably determine” that environmental damage is “likely,” phrasing meant to prevent regulators from anticipating the effects of climate change. And, for the first time, officials will be allowed to calculate economic impacts of protecting a species, a move supported by some…

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trump and netanyahu: why they banned omar and tlaib

There are few “traditions of decorum that President Trump has not trampled on since entering the White House,” said The New York Times in an editorial, but last week’s “foul” stunt was “new territory even for him.” Democratic congresswomen Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib, both critics of Israel’s treatment of Palestinians, were due to visit the occupied West Bank on a trip approved by the Israeli government. Then Trump weighed in via Twitter: “It would show great weakness if Israel allowed Rep. Omar and Rep. Tlaib to visit. They hate Israel & all Jewish people.” Within hours, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu rescinded the pair’s visas, earning swift condemnation from Democrats and some Republican supporters of Israel. Even AIPAC, the conservative, pro-Israel lobbying group, said that “every member of Congress…

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good week/bad week

Good week for: Deodorant, after a federal energy-saving program recommended that people with air-conditioning keep their thermostat set at 78 degrees and raise it at night to 82 or higher. Keeping your distance, with a new survey showing that 45 percent of Americans admit to having worn the same pair of underwear for two consecutive days or more, with 13 percent going more than a week. Men are more prone to this behavior. Thrill seekers, with the opening in Tokyo of “the world’s first tapioca theme park.” Visitors to Tapioca Land can enjoy a wide range of “bubble teas,” distinctively filled with tiny spheres of the sweet starch, while reclining in ball pits filled with larger spheres. Bad week for: The art of the deal, after a miffed President Trump punished Denmark for its disinterest…