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The Week Magazine

The Week Magazine August 14, 2020

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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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The Week Publications, Inc.
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48 Edities

in deze editie

2 min.
editor’s letter

This week, trying to understand America’s latest foreign policy crisis, I watched a bunch of 15-second videos. One had fluorescent rabbits staring at each other. Another starred a 1970s Oldsmobile converted into a Mad Max–style three-wheel engine of death. Viewing these videos on TikTok was, as a few hundred million people discovered before me, strangely enjoyable. It’s hard to imagine they are at the center of a crisis involving China, Microsoft, and, yes, President Trump. But there it is. The video-sharing network TikTok—you know it well if you are a teen, maybe less well if you’re not—is the top social network in the world outside of Facebook, Instagram, and China’s WeChat. It is fast becoming the world’s meme machine. This creates some legitimate worries, since TikTok is owned by a…

5 min.
benefits lapse amid a record economic collapse

What happened Congressional Republicans, White House officials, and Democrats struggled this week to come to terms on a coronavirus relief bill, as the U.S. economy reeled from the biggest contraction on record and federal jobless benefits lapsed for nearly 30 million Americans. In meetings between White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, and Democratic leaders Nancy Pelosi and Charles Schumer, the two sides traded specific proposals, with Republicans making concessions. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said he’d support a bill that included an extension of the $600-a-week unemployment benefits, a key point of contention that many in his party oppose. “We’re making progress,” Schumer told reporters. Both he and McConnell said they were hopeful the basic outlines of a deal could be reached this week and voted…

3 min.
covid-19 death toll surges across u.s.

What happened The country’s weekly coronavirus death toll soared to 8,500 this week, up 36 percent from the previous seven days, as outbreaks flared across Midwestern states that had previously escaped the worst of the pandemic. Missouri, Montana, and Oklahoma saw some of the highest spikes in new infections. In Illinois and Wisconsin, the virus gained fresh footholds in communities that thought the disease had been contained. “It broke my heart,” said Pete Berghoff, who last week shuttered his family’s Chicago restaurant for the second time this year. The rate of new infections appeared to be slowing in hard-hit Sun Belt states such as Florida, Texas, and Arizona, but deaths and hospitalizations remained stubbornly high. More than 160,000 Americans have died so far in the pandemic, with 22 states reporting increases…

1 min.
it wasn’t all bad

Two college hockey players traded their skates for blades this summer to raise money for cancer research. Jacob Adkins and Andrew Walker passed time during the pandemic by rollerblading together. Soon, they hatched a plan to travel 900 miles from their Massachusetts campus to Walker’s Michigan home. Inspired by family members who have dealt with cancer, they turned the strenuous 10-day journey into a fundraiser for the American Cancer Society, raising $28,000. “Cancer hasn’t stopped,” said Adkins, “so neither should we.” Meena Kumar was found abandoned at 9 months old in Pune, India, and adopted by a family in Mumbai, who later brought her to San Jose. Now at age 14 she is helping some four-legged friends get adopted by loving families, too. Kumar grew to love dogs by watching over…

3 min.
trump: is he tampering with the election in advance?

As polls show him badly trailing with Election Day less than 90 days away, a desperate President Trump has reached for “one of the last tricks in the dictator’s handbook,” said Timothy Egan in The New York Times. Repeating his baseless claim that widespread mail-in voting amid the pandemic will lead to “the most INACCURATE & FRAUDULENT Election in history,” Trump tweeted last week: “Delay the election until people can properly, securely and safely vote???” The authoritarian tone was chilling, but Trump has no power to postpone the election: The date of every presidential election was set by Congress in 1845, and only Congress could change it. Pushback from Republican senators like Mitch McConnell and Lindsey Graham makes it likely Trump will drop his unconstitutional suggestion, said Amanda Carpenter in…

1 min.
good week/bad week

Good week for: Newspeak, after CNN reported that “individuals with a cervix” are being urged to get tested for cervical cancer. After days of online mockery, CNN Vice President Matt Dornic tweeted, “I’m sorry it’s so upsetting for some of you to acknowledge the existence of transgender men and women.” Novel excuses, after an elderly Florida man arrested for drunk-driving a golf cart blamed his intoxication on watching President Trump give a coronavirus briefing. Cary DeVan, 82, told officers he “got really mad at what [Trump] said” and started drinking vodka. Dirty tricks, after four people active in Republican politics sought to get Kanye West on the presidential ballot in several states, including swing state Wisconsin. West’s wife, Kim Kardashian, has recently described West as mentally ill. Bad week for: Hands, touching hands, reaching out…,…