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The Week Magazine

The Week Magazine October 30, 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)
€ 77,74(Incl. btw)
48 Edities

in deze editie

2 min.
editor’s letter

Call it a tale of two systems. In authoritarian China, where the pandemic first emerged, the coronavirus is now a mere inconvenience. The disease has been almost entirely suppressed through a combination of strict lockdowns, face-mask mandates, and mass testing and contact tracing. As a result, China is going from strength to strength. Experts believe China will be the world’s only major economy to notch positive economic growth this year—the U.S. economy is predicted to shrink by about 4 percent—and for ordinary citizens there, life has largely returned to normal. During this month’s Golden Week holiday, more than 600 million Chinese hit the road to visit relatives and vacation resorts. Here in the democratic U.S., it’s a different story. With no national strategy in place to contain the virus, we’re…

5 min.
millions of voters casting early ballots

What happened With two weeks to go until Election Day, voters shattered records for early balloting this week, as passions stirred by Donald Trump’s divisive presidency sent Americans streaming to the polls. Some 42 million votes had already been cast by Tuesday, according to the U.S. Election Project—nearly a third the total number of votes cast in 2016. In states that offered a party breakdown of the early votes, registered Democrats outnumbered Republicans by 2 to 1. Voters in some states endured long lines; in Georgia, some waited as long as 11 hours on opening day. “I really wanted to make sure that my voice was heard,” said Everlean Rutherford, who stood in line for 10 hours in Marietta, Ga. “I want to see a change in this country.” Biden leads…

3 min.
another covid wave batters the u.s.

What happened New coronavirus cases in the U.S. shot back above 60,000 a day this week, a 70 percent increase since mid-September, as Americans suffering “pandemic fatigue” stopped practicing social distancing and began seeing family and friends again. Major Covid-19 outbreaks are now rippling across the Midwest and Mountain West, with 12 states—including Colorado, Wisconsin, Ohio, the Dakotas, and New Mexico—reporting record seven-day new-case averages. Coronavirus hospitalizations are surging in 39 states; Wisconsin is the worst hit, with nearly 10 percent of the state’s hospital beds occupied by Covid-19 patients. “People are dying every night,” said Carolyn Sienko, a nurse at Aspirus Wausau Hospital. “This virus is just beating them.” More than 8.5 million Americans have been infected with Covid-19, and 226,000 have died from the disease—about a fifth of the…

1 min.
it wasn’t all bad

A 14-year-old student has won a national prize for research in which she screened millions of molecules for potential Covid-19 cures. Anika Chebrolu of Texas became interested in viruses after a bad bout of flu last year. “After spending so much time researching about pandemics,” said Chebrolu, “it was crazy to think that I was actually living through something like this.” The eighth-grader found a molecule that can bind to the coronavirus’ spike protein, potentially stopping the virus from entering the body’s cells. “I, like everyone else, wish that we go back to our normal lives soon,” she says. As Hurricane Delta approached Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula earlier this month, Ricardo Pimentel worried about the animals at his shelter. On 10 acres of sanctuary land, he wasn’t sure the 500 critters would…

3 min.
hunter biden: real scandal or russian dirty trick?

Here it is, right on cue—your “October surprise,” said Jonathan Chait in NYMag.com. In a last-ditch effort to save President Trump’s campaign, the Rupert Murdoch–owned New York Post last week published several “bombshell” reports based on emails, photos, and videos supposedly retrieved from a laptop that once belonged to Joe Biden’s son Hunter. The materials apparently depict the younger Biden smoking crack, having sex, and trading on his father’s name to land a $50,000-a-month job on the board of Burisma, a Ukrainian energy company, when his father was heading up U.S. policy in Ukraine. The Post claimed it had a “smoking gun” email from a Burisma executive, thanking Hunter for introducing him to the then vice president. But the Biden campaign has denied the meeting ever took place, and 50…

1 min.
good week/bad week

Good week for: Winter swimmers, who develop higher levels of RBM3, a “cold shock” protein that may help delay the onset of dementia, according to new research from Cambridge University. Immersion in cold water, researchers said, may stimulate the growth of brain synapses. Unidentified flying humans, after the pilots of jetliners coming into LAX in Los Angeles reported for the second time in six weeks seeing a person in a jetpack flying by—this one at an altitude of 6,000 feet. The FBI is investigating. The saved, after televangelist Pat Robertson told viewers God had informed him that Donald Trump will be re-elected, sparking civil unrest and an Islamic war on Israel, followed by “some kind of asteroid strike” on Earth that ushers in the End Times. Bad week for: Chicago, which has been named the…