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The Week MagazineThe Week Magazine

The Week Magazine

November 29, 2019

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 Numéros


access_time5 min.
sondland confirms trump sought ‘quid pro quo’

What happened In bombshell testimony in the House impeachment inquiry this week, Ambassador Gordon Sondland directly implicated President Trump in a campaign to pressure Ukraine for investigations into former Vice President Joe Biden and the Democratic Party. Bluntly describing the scheme as a “quid pro quo,” Sondland told lawmakers that he and other U.S. diplomats worked with Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani to pressure Ukraine “at the express direction of the president of the United States.” Sondland, a hotel executive who was named ambassador to the EU after donating $1 million to Trump’s inauguration, depicted himself as an unwilling participant in the plot. “We did not want to work with Mr. Giuliani” on Ukraine, Sondland said. But “we followed the president’s orders.” Sondland went far beyond his initial closed-door testimony, connecting multiple…

access_time2 min.
it wasn’t all bad

At age 103, Ruth Kundsin thinks she’s cracked the secret to a long life. “You’ve got to have something to look forward to,” said the former microbiologist. One of those things is her weekly workout with a trainer at the YMCA in Quincy, Mass. Kundsin—who is currently writing her sixth book, about her life in science—warms up with a half-mile walk on a treadmill and 2 miles on an elliptical bike. She then moves on to strength training, which includes pressing 150 pounds with one leg. “She’s stronger than she looks,” said trainer Dick Raymond. Two months after the De Angelis family’s beloved dog, Dopey, went missing, they decided they were finally ready to welcome a new pet into their lives. The family went to a Humane Society event at PetSmart…

access_time4 min.
senseless deaths

Santa Clarita and Fresno, Calif. A student opened fire last week at a Santa Clarita high school on his 16th birthday, killing a girl, 15, and boy, 14, and injuring three others. Saugus High’s Nathaniel Berhow, a Boy Scout, cross-country runner, and academic standout, pulled a .45-caliber handgun from his backpack after being dropped off by his mom and fired for 16 seconds into a campus quad before shooting himself in the head. He died a day later. No motive has been identified, nor have police determined where the shooter acquired his firearm; they seized several from his home. Three days later, two men attacked a backyard football-watching party in Fresno where about 35 family members were gathered, fatally shooting four men and injuring six others. The gunmen are at large.…

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in the news

Taylor Swift won the right this week to perform her hits at the American Music Awards, after she accused music executive Scooter Braun of “exercising tyrannical control” over her catalog. Braun acquired Swift’s label, Big Machine Records, this summer for $300 million, and Swift—whom the AMA is honoring as “Artist of the Decade”—said he wouldn’t let her sing pre-2019 music for TV. The message, Swift said, was to “be a good little girl and shut up. Or you’ll be punished.” She asked her 200 million–plus social media followers, dubbed “Swifties,” to contact Braun, and his Nashville office shut down after being deluged with calls. Big Machine complained that Swift endangered its staff by weaponizing her fan base, but later said it had come to an agreement for Swift to include…

access_time1 min.
why trump fears daca victory

Maggie Haberman The New York Times If Supreme Court conservatives end the DACA program protecting “Dreamers” from deportation, said Maggie Haberman, President Trump “may find himself in a political box of his own making.” During oral arguments on the administration’s attempt to throw out President Obama’s creation of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, Chief Justice John Roberts strongly suggested that Obama went beyond his constitutional authority and that Congress should decide what to do with the 700,000 Dreamers brought here illegally as children. But if the court rules 5-4 to end DACA next year, it will dump the problem in Trump’s lap. He promised during the 2016 campaign to cancel DACA, and his anti-immigration base hates the idea of granting legal status or citizenship to anyone who came here illegally,…

access_time1 min.

“You don’t have to think that Trump was lying about his Saturday Walter Reed [Hospital] visit to insist that his health—and the health of the other candidates, especially his fellow septuagenarians Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren, Michael Bloomberg, and Bernie Sanders—should be a foundational issue in the 2020 campaign. We know our president’s health is not optimal. By his own doctor’s assessment, he’s obese—at a reported weight of 243 pounds. He has a common form of heart disease and is at moderate risk of having a heart attack in the next three to five years. When a president portrays himself as the picture of fitness when he’s not really 100 percent, he puts the nation at peril.” Jack Shafer in…