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 / News & Politics
The Week Magazine

The Week Magazine October 25, 2019

The Week makes sense of the news by curating the best of the U.S. and international media into a succinct, lively digest.

United States
The Week Publications, Inc.
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£4.64(Incl. tax)
£83.64(Incl. tax)
48 Issues


2 min.
editor’s letter

When President Trump gave a green light to Turkey’s invasion of northern Syria last week, politicians and pundits from both the Left and Right accused him of recklessly upending U.S. foreign policy. (See Main Stories.) The Syrian Kurds now being attacked by Turkey were America’s frontline troops in the five-year war against ISIS. Betraying these brave allies, critics said, was a stain on America’s conscience. But while Trump’s decision might appear ugly and strategically unwise, it is far from unprecedented. He is, in fact, the latest in a long line of U.S. leaders to walk away from the Kurds in a moment of crisis. In the aftermath of World War I, President Woodrow Wilson championed self-determination for the non-Turkish inhabitants of the destroyed Ottoman Empire. The leader of a Kurdish…

5 min.
kurds fleeing while isis prisoners escape

What happened Northern Syria was engulfed in chaos this week as Turkey pressed a weeklong offensive against Kurdish forces once allied with the U.S., while Russian and Syrian government troops seized territory and bases hurriedly left behind by withdrawing U.S. soldiers. The Kurdish-dominated Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) suffered an estimated 360 casualties amid intense fighting along the Syrian border after President Trump gave Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan the green light to invade during a phone call and began withdrawing 1,000 U.S. soldiers from the region. As bombs and artillery shells fell, hundreds of ISIS-connected detainees escaped from detention camps formerly guarded by Kurdish fighters, and the U.S. military said it had to leave behind 60 “high-value” ISIS prisoners. An estimated 300,000 civilians fled, and at least 71 were killed or…

3 min.
impeachment inquiry targets giuliani

What happened The White House’s Ukraine crisis deepened this week with revelations that multiple senior administration officials were alarmed by efforts by Rudy Giuliani, the president’s personal lawyer, to seize control of U.S. foreign policy in that country. Fiona Hill, President Trump’s former top Russia adviser, testified to the House impeachment panel that Giuliani muscled aside career diplomats to pressure Ukraine for investigations into Trump’s political rival, Joe Biden, and his son, Hunter. According to Hill, former national security adviser John Bolton shared her concerns over the maneuvering by White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney and European Union Ambassador Gordon Sondland, reportedly telling Hill, “I am not part of whatever drug deal Sondland and Mulvaney are cooking up.” Bolton showed similar scorn for Giuliani, calling him “a hand grenade that’s…

1 min.
it wasn’t all bad

Retired Illinois schoolteacher Bobbe Greenberg only learned how to swim in her late 50s. Now, at age 73, she’s a two-time Ironman champ. At the Ironman World Championship in Hawaii last week, Greenberg swam 2.4 miles, biked 112 miles, and then ran 26.2 miles in an impressive 14 hours, 7 minutes, and 11 seconds. For the second year running, she was faster than anyone else in the women ages 70–74 bracket. “It’s like a drug,” Greenberg, who has completed 17 triathlons this year, says of racing. “[I’m in] a positive state the whole time.” Simone Biles has made history, again. The American gymnast became an international sensation after her dominant performance in the 2016 Olympics, and she’s continued to improve, landing an unprecedented “triple-double” flip in August. And following her five…

3 min.
china and u.s. businesses: the big sellout

Does freedom “matter more than greed?” asked the New York Post in an editorial. Clearly not to the National Basketball Association, which this week continued its shameful efforts to mollify the Chinese government after Houston Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey tweeted (then deleted) his support for pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong. The latest supplicant is superstar LeBron James. An outspoken social activist here at home who once called President Trump a “bum,” King James thinks it was wrong and “dangerous” for the “misinformed” Morey to anger China, whose 500 million NBA fans put billions in the pockets of the league, its players, and Nike, whose sneakers James has endorsed. So this week James called on league officials and players to “be careful what we tweet, what we say, and what…

1 min.
good week/bad week

Good week for: Dark tourism, after Ukraine began tours of the control room of the Chernobyl nuclear plant, where engineers made the fateful decision to turn off the plant’s cooling system in 1986. Tourists must wear protective clothing and can only spend five minutes in the still highly radioactive room. Last laughs, after mourners at an Irishman’s funeral were startled by the sound of knocking and the voice of the deceased bellowing “Let me out! It’s f---ing dark in here!” as his coffin was lowered into the grave. Horror turned to mirth when they realized that Shay Bradley had recorded the prank plea before he died. Dark horses, with reports that billionaire former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg might jump into the Democratic presidential race if Joe Biden falls far behind Elizabeth Warren. Bad…