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The Week Magazine

July 19, 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 Issues


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editor’s letter

When Democratic presidential candidates were asked during the first round of debates if crossing the border without authorization should be decriminalized, 8 in 10 raised their hands. At that moment, President Trump’s re-election chances brightened considerably. Trump’s policy of inflicting misery on legal applicants for asylum has failed on every level: It hasn’t discouraged the ongoing influx of hundreds of thousands of desperate Central Americans, and the human catastrophe of overcrowded, reeking detention centers will go down as a shameful era in our history. (See Best U.S. columns.) But the sane and politically viable response to an absolutist policy in which no asylum seekers are welcome is not its complete opposite—opening the border to all who choose to enter the country. As David Frum pointed out earlier this year in…

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trump seeks to circumvent court on the census

What happened The Trump administration this week defiantly pressed ahead with efforts to add a question about citizenship status to the 2020 census, despite stinging Supreme Court ruling that it could not. The Commerce Department initially announced that it would leave the question off the census after the justices voted 5 to 4 to block it from being included, with Chief Justice John Roberts delivering the White House its first major defeat at the high court by unexpectedly joining its liberal bloc. The court ruled that the Commerce Department gave “contrived” reasons for including the question, violating federal law. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross had claimed the administration wanted to include the question to help enforce the Voting Rights Act. But recently unearthed memos from a deceased Republican strategist who was advising…

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it wasn’t all bad

When Bryan DuBose adopted Xena last year, the German shepherd weighed only 35 pounds and was riddled with parasites. The Texas deputy constable nursed the pooch back to health, and last week Xena got the chance to say thank you. DuBose was asleep when Xena ran out of her kennel, jumped on his bed, and nudged him awake. The deputy smelled smoke and realized the house was on fire; thanks to Xena, his family was able to escape the blaze to safety. “She returned the favor tenfold,” DuBose said of his rescue dog. American tennis phenom Cori “Coco” Gauff’s remarkable Wimbledon run came to an end this week, but not before she taught her elders a thing or two. The 15-year-old grabbed the world’s attention in the first round, defeating her…

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acosta under fire over epstein deal

What happened Democrats are calling on Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta to resign over a 2008 plea deal he struck as federal prosecutor with billionaire financier Jeffrey Epstein, who was arrested on new sex-trafficking charges in New York last week. As U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Florida, Acosta oversaw a deal that let Epstein avoid federal charges for allegedly sexually abusing dozens of young women and girls. Instead, Epstein pled guilty to two state prostitution charges and served 13 months in jail; he was allowed to work from home six days a week. The New York indictment says Epstein “exploited and abused dozens of minor girls,” as young as 14, at his Manhattan and Palm Beach, Fla., homes from 2002 to 2005. Acosta called Epstein’s actions “despicable” and said his…

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u.s. women’s soccer triumph drives push for equal pay

What happened The U.S. women’s soccer team came back to New York City this week to a ticker-tape parade and chants of “USA! Equal pay!”—echoing the shouts in the stadium that greeted the squad’s fourth World Cup victory. Tens of thousands of paradegoers cheered the team, which turned in a historically overpowering performance, winning its seven matches 26-3, including a 2-0 defeat of the Netherlands for its second straight title. The team was defiantly joyful and relentless in the process, beginning with an unheard-of 13-0 romp of Thailand. The Americans celebrated goal after goal, sometimes cheekily—as when forward Alex Morgan pretended to sip tea after scoring in the semifinal against England. “There is some sort of double standard for females in sports,” Morgan said to critics, a theme that continued after…

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democrats: moving too far left to win?

“Dear Democrats,” said Bret Stephens in The New York Times. “If you go on like this, you’re going to lose the elections, and you’ll deserve it.” In their first round of debates, the 20 Democratic candidates seemed to be competing to see who could alienate the greatest number of mainstream voters. Lowlights include Kamala Harris suggesting it was time to bring back the widely hated racial “busing” programs of the 1970s, several candidates promising to abolish private health insurance, and Beto O’Rourke launching into heavily accented Spanish. But the “best moment for the Trump campaign” by far was probably when every candidate at the second debate raised a hand in support of providing health coverage for illegal immigrants. Just as damaging for the Democrats, said Megan McArdle in The Washington…