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The Week MagazineThe Week Magazine

The Week Magazine May 10, 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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editor’s letter

When journalists write about the economy, they tend to put in a lot of “buts.” When this week’s economic growth numbers came out (see Best Columns: Business), “the numbers look good, but…” was a popular refrain. Let me add one “but” you may not expect: This week’s numbers look good, but really things may be even better. Not only is growth strong, but real wages are rising quickly. Amazon has raised the minimum wage for its workers to $15 an hour, Target is up to $13, Bank of America has set a $20-an-hour floor. Although these may not sound like impressive numbers in New York City or Silicon Valley, if you’ve ever chatted with folks at a rural church, you’ll know that in much of the country this pay for…

access_time3 min.
mueller’s rift with the attorney general

What happened An extraordinary rupture between special counsel Robert Mueller and Attorney General William Barr became public this week when it was revealed that Mueller complained that Barr’s four-page summary of his findings was misleading. In a letter written on March 27 and leaked this week, Mueller wrote that Barr’s summary, in which the attorney general absolved President Trump of collusion and obstruction of justice, “did not fully capture the context, nature, and substance of this office’s work and conclusions,” and had left the public confused about “critical aspects of the results.” Mueller also asked Barr to immediately release the special counsel’s own summaries of the Russia investigation’s findings. Barr did not, waiting three more weeks to release a redacted version of Mueller’s final report, again claiming it exonerated the president. At…

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it wasn’t all bad

When Sara Hinesley first learned to write in cursive this year, she thought it was “kind of easy.” Now the 10-year-old from Maryland has won a national handwriting competition, a feat made all the more remarkable by the fact that Sara was born without hands. The youngster—who also enjoys painting—doesn’t use prosthetics. Instead, she grips the pencil between her arms and creates the beautiful script that won her the 2019 Nicholas Maxim award, given annually to two students with special needs. “If you try your hardest,” Sara said, “you can do it.” Robert King was driving home from his job at a car dealership in the Chicago suburbs when he spotted an emergency medical van crashed on the roadside. King stopped to see if he could help, and a man asked…

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uprising against venezuela’s maduro falters

What happened The Trump administration warned this week that it was prepared to use military force in support of an uprising against the country’s authoritarian president, Nicolás Maduro. Thousands of protesters took to the streets of Caracas and clashed with pro-government forces after opposition leader Juan Guaidó appeared at an air base in the capital and—flanked by a small group of dissident soldiers—called on the military to support him in the “final phase” of his plan to remove Maduro. “The moment is now,” said Guaidó, 35, who is recognized as Venezuela’s interim president by the U.S. and more than 50 other countries. It was Guaidó’s boldest effort to date to topple the leftist president, yet his call went largely unheeded. Top military commanders remained loyal to Maduro, and soldiers and pro-government…

access_time2 min.
white nationalist terror strikes another synagogue

What happened The growing plague of anti-Semitic violence claimed more victims last week when a 19-year-old entered a synagogue in Poway, Calif., and used a semi-automatic rifle to kill one woman and injure three other Jews on the last day of Passover. California State University nursing student John Earnest was charged with murdering Lori Gilbert Kaye, 60, and attempting to murder an 8-year-old girl, her uncle, and Rabbi Yisroel Goldstein at the Chabad of Poway near San Diego. Authorities said Earnest screamed that Jews were ruining the world and fired several rounds with an AR-15–style rifle before it jammed. Goldstein’s right index finger was shot off, but he wrapped the hand in a prayer shawl and addressed congregants, shouting, “Am Yisrael chai! The people of Israel live!” The shooting came exactly six…

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biden: democrats’ best bet to beat trump?

“Joe Biden’s limitations as a presidential candidate are so obvious that they’re almost a litany,” said David Ignatius in The Washington Post. The former vice president, who last week officially declared his candidacy, “is too old, too white, too male, too touchy-feely,” and generally too out of touch with the progressive base of the party he seeks to lead in 2020. But Biden has “one huge plus” over the “dizzying array” of other Democrats: He may have the best chance of beating Donald Trump. Polls show Biden leading Trump by 8 points in a theoretical matchup, and his blue-collar bona fides could help Democrats win back the Rust Belt states that so narrowly went for Trump in 2016. Biden came out of the gate making a direct pitch for those…