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The Week Magazine

The Week Magazine February 21, 2020

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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United States
The Week Publications, Inc.
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48 Edities

in deze editie

2 min.
editor’s letter

The drone descended from the sky, its propellers whirring, and hovered over the head of an elderly Chinese woman. “Yes, Auntie, this drone is speaking to you,” the voice of Authority said through a loudspeaker, as she looked up in concern. “You shouldn’t walk around without wearing a mask. You’d better go back home.” A video of this Orwellian encounter was put online by China’s state media, evidently to boast of its use of drones and other technology to combat the spread of the new coronavirus. In another video, a drone zooms in on a group of people playing mah-jongg outdoors. “You’ve been spotted!” the loudspeaker admonishes. “Leave the site as soon as possible.” To control the population, the government is also using facial recognition technology, robots, and the data…

5 min.
the democrats’ fractured field

What happened? The New Hampshire primary left the Democratic Party splintered between its moderate and left wings this week after Sen. Bernie Sanders notched a narrow victory over centrists Pete Buttigieg and Sen. Amy Klobuchar. Sanders won with nearly 26 percent of the vote, but that total was the weakest for a New Hampshire victor in party history. Moderates split between Buttigieg (24.4 percent); Klobuchar (19.8 percent) and Biden (8.4 percent). “This victory here is the beginning of the end for Donald Trump,” a victorious Sanders told a joyful crowd. Former front-runners Biden and Elizabeth Warren were in deep trouble after finishing fourth and fifth, respectively, and earning no delegates; they also trailed the top three finishers in Iowa. Both, however, vowed to fight on, with Biden departing New Hampshire even before…

2 min.
justice department bends to trump in roger stone case

What happened Four prosecutors withdrew in protest from the Justice Department’s case against Trump confidant Roger Stone after President Trump lashed out in defense of his onetime campaign aide and the Justice Department undercut their sentencing recommendations. Stone was convicted last November of lying to Congress about the leak of Russian-hacked Democratic campaign emails, and of pressuring a witness to do the same, in a case that grew out of Robert Mueller’s investigation. The DOJ had initially recommended that Stone serve seven to nine years in prison, following federal guidelines. Hours after Trump called that “horrible” and a “miscarriage of justice,” top Justice officials said they’d been blindsided by the “grossly disproportionate” recommendation by the prosecutors, and the department cut its recommended sentence down to three to four years. The House…

2 min.
big cuts and big spending in white house budget

What happened President Trump unveiled a $4.8 trillion budget this week that sets out his policy priorities should he win re-election in November, proposing deep cuts to safety net programs and domestic spending and increased funding for defense and space exploration. The White House said the plan would eliminate the federal deficit—which is on track to top $1 trillion this year for the first time since 2012—within 15 years. To achieve that, Trump is seeking $4.4 trillion in spending cuts over the next decade, of which $2 trillion would come from Medicare, Medicaid, and other entitlements. Discretionary spending programs would also see broad cuts, with the State Department losing 7.7 percent of its funding in 2021, the EPA 26.5 percent, and the Education Department 7.8 percent. Not every part of government…

3 min.
bloomberg: the democrats’ best bernie alternative?

“Even a few weeks ago, I’d have told you he was wasting his money,” said Matt Bai in WashingtonPost.com. But now the prospect of self-funded former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg winning the Democratic presidential nomination “no longer seems so remote.” Bernie Sanders’ victory this week in New Hampshire—following a second-place finish in Iowa—has sent the Democrats’ donor class and rank-and-file moderates into a “full-fledged panic.” They are convinced that nominating a self-declared socialist would hand the election to President Trump in November. The apparent collapse of Joe Biden has left the center lane wide open, said Kyle Smith in NationalReview.com. The self-assured, highly accomplished Bloomberg is seen as a more plausible Trump slayer “than Pete Buttigieg, with his student-council earnestness and thin résumé.” Amy Klobuchar’s campaign, meanwhile, is low…

1 min.
good week/bad week

Good week for: Fornicators, after Virginia’s House of Delegates passed a bill that would repeal the state’s ban on sex between unmarried people, thereby providing more credibility to the state’s tourism slogan, “Virginia is for lovers.” Teeing off, after a University of Missouri study found that playing golf just once a month reduces the risk of premature death by about half, likely because it provides stress relief, the stimulation of competition, and a bit of exercise. Tailwinds, after a British Airways passenger jet made the trip from New York to London in slightly less than five hours, setting a new record for subsonic aircraft. Assisted by the transatlantic jet stream, the flight arrived 1 hour and 42 minutes early. Bad week for: Male grooming, after a photograph of a wind-blown President Trump on the White…