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The Week MagazineThe Week Magazine

The Week Magazine

July 26, 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 Edities


access_time2 min.
editor’s letter

For a long time, I believed that humans were fundamentally products of nurture, not nature. Then I became a parent. When our daughter was born, my wife and I were determined that we wouldn’t force her to conform to gender stereotypes. So we bought a drawer’s worth of unisex onesies and, when she was 6 months old, presented her with a pile of “boy” and “girl” toys—trucks and dolls. She largely ignored the plastic bulldozers, steamrollers, and big rigs and went straight for the dolls. When our son was born three years later, we went through the same ritual. One afternoon, we saw him crawling speedily toward his sister’s toy stroller and were sure he was about to defy those gender norms. Instead, he flipped the thing over, doll passenger…

access_time5 min.
trump tells congresswomen to ‘go back’ home

What happened President Trump embraced the most openly racial confrontation of his presidency so far this week, telling a group of nonwhite Democratic congresswomen to “go back” to their “totally broken and crime infested” home countries. Trump’s tweets were aimed at a group of unabashedly progressive House freshmen who have been nicknamed “the Squad”: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, and Ayanna S. Pressley of Massachusetts. All of the women were born in the U.S., with the exception of Omar, a Somali refugee who became an American citizen as a teenager. After his comments ignited a firestorm of racial and partisan rancor, Trump refused to back down. “If you’re not happy here you can leave,” he said. “That is what I say all of…

access_time3 min.
sending asylum seekers back to mexico

What happened President Trump placed dramatic new limits this week on Central Americans’ ability to seek asylum in the U.S., ordering immigration officials to deny all claims from petitioners who first passed through Mexico. The new directive would require asylum seekers to petition the first safe country they encounter after leaving their homeland. Immigration advocates and the American Civil Liberties Union called the rule illegal and immediately challenged it in a California court. Attorney General William Barr defended it as “a lawful exercise of authority,” though the order broke with decades of American policy and represents the administration’s most restrictive effort to stem the tide of Central American migrants flowing across the U.S.’s southern border. New federal data showed migrant arrests at the Mexican border fell in June to 104,344, a…

access_time1 min.
it wasn’t all bad

A routine traffic stop transformed into a dramatic rescue when an officer discovered a baby’s life was on the line. Deputy William Kimbro stopped a speeding car in Summerville, S.C., and found that a mother was rushing her 12-day-old daughter, Riley, to the hospital because the newborn had stopped breathing after feeding. The deputy immediately began performing CPR and continued until the baby began visibly breathing on her own. Kimbro was awarded a police medal for heroism, and baby Riley has made a full recovery. A pair of 2-year-old Pakistani twins recently saw each other’s faces for the first time after surgery at a London hospital. Safa and Marwa Ullah were born conjoined at the skull, which is extremely rare, and local doctors told the family that separation surgery would likely…

access_time3 min.
epstein: how did he get away with it?

How did he evade consequences for so long? asked David Von Drehle in The Washington Post. As financier Jeffrey Epstein is finally facing new charges of sex trafficking that could put him behind bars for life, it’s clear that “a creeping rot in the American justice system” allowed this industrial-scale predator to run a sex ring of underage girls—and then bribe and flatter his way back into polite society. Back in 2007 Epstein, now 66, faced 45 years in jail after accusations in Florida that he’d recruited dozens of underage girls—most of them poor—to give him “massages” that turned into sexual abuse and rape. With his “enormous and unexplained wealth” (see Business), Epstein hired high-priced lawyers, including Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz and former Bill Clinton special prosecutor Ken Starr.…

access_time1 min.
good week/bad week

Good week for: A new Coen brothers script, after Oklahoma police made a traffic stop of Stephen Jennings, 41, and allegedly found he was driving a stolen car on a suspended license, and was in possession of an unlicensed handgun, a live rattlesnake, a canister of powdered yellow uranium, and an open bottle of Kentucky Deluxe whiskey. Chicagoans, who can finally exhale following the capture, by Florida-based crocodilian expert Frank Robb, of a 5-foot-long alligator that somehow wound up scaring visitors to Humboldt Park. Populist uprisings, after at least 1.4 million people signed up via Facebook to collectively storm Area 51, the secretive government facility in the Nevada desert long rumored to house crashed extraterrestrial spacecraft. The event’s motto: “Let’s see them aliens.” Bad week for: Parental improvisation, after Canadian police arrested a motorist who,…