News & Politics
The Week Magazine

The Week Magazine October 4, 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

in this issue

2 min.
editor’s letter

July was the hottest month ever recorded. This summer, the sea ice in the Arctic and Antarctic retreated to record lows, and Greenland’s massive ice sheet lost billions of tons of ice—even in the center, far from the coasts. “The cold, boring interior of Greenland is waking up,” said scientist Mike MacFerrin. Seas are rapidly rising. In America’s Southwest, a 19-year-long drought is draining the Colorado River and its reservoirs, endangering water supplies to seven states. Climate activist Greta Thunberg’s warnings that our planet is careening toward catastrophe may be overly apocalyptic, and her condemnation of adults—“How dare you!”—adolescent in its righteousness. (See Controversy.) The world, fortunately, will not end in 10 years, or 20. But Thunberg’s fear that her generation will inherit a profoundly damaged planet is not a…

5 min.
ukraine call pushes house toward impeachment

What happened House Democrats began formal impeachment proceedings against President Trump this week amid revelations that Trump pressured the Ukrainian government to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden, one of his strongest potential rivals in the 2020 presidential election. Notes from a call Trump made to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky show Zelensky asking for U.S. Javelin missiles and Trump then asking him for “a favor”—to investigate Biden and his son, Hunter, who once sat on the board of a Ukrainian company. Trump said the senior Biden had as vice president “stopped the prosecution” of that company, and asked Zelensky to “look into it,” urging him to work with U.S. Attorney General William Barr and Trump’s personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani. Trump also pointed out that the U.S. has “done a lot for…

2 min.
biden accuses trump of ukraine ‘smear’ campaign

What happened Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden said this week President Trump had made “an attempt to smear me” with “baseless” claims that he improperly pressured Ukraine to protect his son, Hunter. As vice president, Biden in 2015 pushed the government in Kiev to fire chief prosecutor Viktor Shokin and threatened to withhold $1 billion in U.S. loan guarantees if he wasn’t dismissed. Shokin was viewed by many Western governments as an obstacle to reform in the graft-ridden country because he had turned a blind eye to corruption in his office and among Ukraine’s elite. At the same time Biden was demanding Shokin’s ouster, his son was earning up to $50,000 a month to sit on the board of Burisma Holdings, a Ukrainian energy company that had been under scrutiny by…

2 min.
democrats face roadblock in the senate

What happened Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and his GOP colleagues warned this week that articles of impeachment against President Trump would be dead on arrival in the Senate. As pressure for impeachment built in the House, McConnell accused Democrats of a “rush to judgment,” saying they’re on an “impeachment parade in search of a rationale,” having already decided Trump was guilty before even investigating the new Ukraine scandal. Removing a president requires support from 67 senators. The 53 Republican members have thus far stood firmly behind Trump, though after the White House released details of Trump’s July phone call with Ukraine’s new president, several Senate Republicans were reportedly stunned, with one calling the release of the transcript a “huge mistake.” While the House issues articles of impeachment, the Senate is responsible…

3 min.
greta thunberg: prophet or puppet?

Less than a year ago, said David Wallace-Wells in NYMag.com, Greta Thunberg was “an unknown, awkward, nearly friendless 15-year-old” who spent her Fridays alone on the steps of the Swedish parliament, protesting her government’s lack of action on climate change. Today she commands a “global army of teenage activists numbered in the millions,” and with her searing address to the United Nations this week, the attention of the world. “We are in the beginning of a mass extinction, and all you can talk about is money and fairy tales of eternal economic growth,” an irate Thunberg told delegates. “The eyes of all future generations are upon you, and if you choose to fail us, I say we will never forgive you.” Thunberg’s message is hardly a new one, said Barbie…

1 min.
good week/bad week

Good week for: Equality, after Fort Collins, Colo., formally repealed its ban on women going topless. The victory for the nationwide “Free the Nipple” movement follows a federal appeals court ruling that the ban reinforced “negative stereotypes depicting women’s breasts, but not men’s breasts, as sex objects.” Biblical wit, after a church in Ohio used its road sign to urge the thieves who stole its brand-new air conditioner to keep it, since “it’s hot where your [sic] going.” The hungover, who are suffering from a legitimate “illness,” a German court ruled this week. The ruling, however, comes as a blow to the makers of over-the-counter hangover “remedies,” who will no longer be allowed to make unsupported health claims. Bad week for: Catharsis, after Ariauna Lillard, 19, of Nebraska, used a butane torch to incinerate a…