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The Week Magazine

The Week Magazine August 7, 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.
€ 6,04(Incl. btw)
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48 Edities

in deze editie

2 min.
editor’s letter

For a moment, I forgot. Karla and I were at an outdoor restaurant on a summer evening, surrounded by tables of chattering families and relaxed couples. In the waning yellow sunlight, we sipped wine, enjoyed our halibut, and soaked up the life around us. Giddy liberation was in the air. The entire main street of this small suburban town north of New York City had been closed to cars, so that restaurants, a pizza place, and an ice cream joint could set up distanced tables outside. People wore masks on sidewalks and while making their way to their tables, taking them off when they were seated. Similar successful adaptations to the pandemic can be found throughout the Northeast, where the test-positivity rate has fallen to about 1 percent and deaths…

3 min.
portland protesters and agents in violent clashes

What happened After a week of escalating confrontations between protesters and federal agents outside a federal courthouse in Portland, Ore., Gov. Kate Brown said this week that the Department of Homeland Security has agreed to a phased withdrawal of its officers. Acting DHS Secretary Chad Wolf cautioned, however, that any pullback was contingent on “significant” improvement in the security situation in the city, where protesters’ numbers have swelled over the past week in opposition to the federal presence. His point was underlined by President Trump, who said he was ready to send up to 75,000 federal agents into Democratic-led cities he painted as bastions of lawlessness. “We’re not leaving until they’ve secured their city,” he said of Portland. “If they don’t…we’re going to have to go in and clean it out.”…

1 min.
it wasn’t all bad

A bravura impromptu piano performance of Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin’” got John Thomas Archer a rapt audience and a free piano. Archer, 23, sat down to play at a piano for sale at ReMARKable Cleanouts in Norwood, Mass.; an employee recorded his performance and later showed it to the store owner, Mark Waters. “He just lit up and drew a crowd,” Waters said. Waters was so inspired that he tracked Archer down on social media to give him the piano. “He went into tears and it brought tears to my eyes,” Waters said. An original “Rosie the Riveter” who helped save the country building warplanes during World War II is now making masks to fight the deadly coronavirus. Mae Krier, 94, was employed by Boeing in the 1940s to assemble B-17…

2 min.
barr battles democrats in capitol hill defense

What happened Attorney General William Barr repeatedly denied accusations that he had politicized the Justice Department during a fiery back-and-forth this week with Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee. During a bitter hearing that frequently descended into shouting, the attorney general defended his decision to overrule career prosecutors’ recommendation of a seven- to nine-year prison sentence for President Trump’s friend and former adviser Roger Stone. Barr said the sentence would have been “more than twice what anyone else in a similar position had ever served.” He also denied President Trump had ever tried to influence criminal justice decisions, including Barr’s move to have former national security adviser Michael Flynn’s guilty plea to lying to the FBI vacated. Rep. Hank Johnson (D-Ga.) asked, “You are expecting the American people to believe that…

2 min.
vaccine trials begin as covid deaths climb

What happened Large-scale clinical trials of two potential Covid-19 vaccines began in the U.S. this week, raising hopes for a medical solution to a disease that has infected more than 4.5 million Americans and killed at least 153,000. Nearly 1,300 Americans died of Covid-19 on Tuesday, the biggest one-day spike since May, with California, Oregon, Montana, Arkansas, Texas, and Florida reporting record single-day fatalities. Infections appeared to be peaking across the Sun Belt but surging in the Midwest. Dr. Deborah Birx, coordinator of the White House coronavirus task force, urged hard-hit states to require masks and to shut down bars. “That’s not a plan for us,” said Tennessee’s Republican Gov. Bill Lee. Results from the Phase III trial of the vaccine developed by Massachusetts-based biotech firm Moderna could arrive as early as…

3 min.
homeschooling: are ‘pandemic pods’ unethical?

As school districts give uncertain signals about the fall, anxious parents “are taking matters into their own hands,” said Patrick Hauf in Spectator.us. Homeschooling was once limited largely to evangelical Christians and off-the-grid hippies, but many mainstream parents are starting to see it as a better choice than having their children educated remotely, via ineffective online Zoom classes, or sending them into public schools that could be hotbeds of coronavirus. Parents also have to work, of course. So many families are organizing “pandemic pods” of between five and 10 children each, where the parents either take turns teaching lessons or pool their resources to hire a full-time tutor. “There are obvious benefits to podding,” said Juliana Kaplan in BusinessInsider.com. Children get the “socialization” benefits of mingling with peers, while families…