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The Week Magazine

The Week Magazine June 12, 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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48 Edities

in deze editie

2 min.
editor’s letter

Every year in the United States about 1,100 people are killed by the police. There is no central database on this, itself a reflection of the tepid effort the U.S. has made to rein in police violence. A disproportionate number of those killed are black; roughly half by most counts are white. I had long believed, before the latest wave of names added to these statistics—Breonna Taylor, George Floyd—that the easiest way to find common ground between police and critics was to concentrate on the general problem of police violence. In many other countries, police killings are very, very rare. Racial animus motivates some of the worst police misconduct, but it is only part of the problem—and the thorniest part. When I have spoken to senior white police officers, I…

5 min.
a broken nation mourns, protests, and burns

What happened President Trump threatened to send the military into American cities this week to quell the violence and looting that have roiled the nation following the death of a black man, George Floyd, at the hands of police in Minneapolis. Hundreds of thousands of protesters turned out in more than 140 cities, galvanized by video footage that showed a white police officer, Derek Chauvin, kneeling on Floyd’s neck for nearly 9 minutes, with three other officers standing by as Floyd—arrested for passing a counterfeit $20 bill—repeatedly pleaded, “I can’t breathe.” There were hundreds of peaceful protests during the day, but at night many cities were engulfed in violence, with windows smashed, stores looted, and stores and police vehicles set on fire. Police fired on crowds—including peaceful protesters—with tear gas and…

2 min.
coronavirus rise feared as protests engulf cities

What happened Massive nationwide protests raised fears this week of infection spikes that could erase recent progress in curbing Covid-19 cases. Social distancing went out the window as demonstrators packed streets in all of the 25 U.S. communities with the highest concentrations of new cases, the Associated Press reported. The prospect of new cases appeared especially troubling in Minneapolis, where Covid-19 hospitalizations had just hit a peak when protests erupted over George Floyd’s killing. The protests have coincided with the relaxing of restrictions in all 50 states, many of which have reopened parks, gyms, restaurants, and hair salons. With 1.8 million reported cases in the U.S. and at least 106,000 deaths, a declining daily infection count had offered hope: There were about 21,000 new cases per day this week, down from…

2 min.
barr urges crackdown on antifa

What happened The Trump administration sought to pin blame on the far-left “antifa” movement for the violence at protests in dozens of U.S. cities this week, with President Trump tweeting that he would designate the anti-fascist group a terrorist organization. That appeared to be an empty threat, because federal law currently only allows foreign groups to be designated as terrorist entities. Still, Attorney General William Barr said the FBI would work with state and local police to identify members of antifa and other outside agitators who commit and instigate violence—though he presented no evidence that antifa was doing that. “The rioting is domestic terrorism,” said Barr, “and will be treated accordingly.” The Justice Department has also granted the DEA, limited by statute to enforcing federal drug-related crimes, sweeping authority to covertly…

3 min.
policing the protests: were cops too aggressive?

The response of national law enforcement to the protests that roiled the nation this week could be described as a “police riot,” said Charles Pierce in Esquire.com. In marked contrast to their kid-glove handling of last month’s lockdown protests by heavily armed white men, police dressed like “quasi-military shock troops” attacked protesters with tear gas, pepper spray, and rubber bullets. Smartphones captured searing images of cops in New York driving SUVs into a crowd of protesters, bludgeoning an old man with a cane to the ground in Salt Lake City, and Tasering two unarmed college students in their car in Atlanta. In Minneapolis, two dozen officers in paramilitary riot gear marched down a quiet residential street, shouted “light ’em up” when they saw people sitting on their own front porch,…

1 min.
good week/bad week

Good week for: Accessorizing, after Ivanka Trump transported the Bible brandished by President Trump in his photo op at St. John’s Episcopal Church in her white Max Mara purse, retail value $1,540. Asked by a reporter, “Is that your Bible?” Trump responded, “It’s a Bible.” Fine distinctions, after Switzerland formally cleared sex workers to reopen their businesses, while maintaining the official prohibition against “close and constant” physical contact. “I am well aware of the bizarre aspect” of the decision, said Health Minister Alain Berset. Going easy on the carbs and wine, with the release of new research showing that 49 percent of Americans worry that they will never get their pre-lockdown body back. The average American has gained 5 pounds during the pandemic. Bad week for: The End Times, after Tropical Storm Cristobal gathered strength…