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 / News & Politics
The Week Magazine

The Week Magazine

January 24, 2020

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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48 Issues


2 min.
editor’s letter

A sack of money, the Supreme Court has decreed, is just another form of speech, which is why Mike Bloomberg will have vastly more to say about the 2020 presidential race than almost every other American. Bloomberg intends to shell out $1 billion for his “free” speech about why President Trump must be defeated (and why Bloomberg is the Democrat best suited to beat him). That’s about 10 times what any individual has ever spent to influence a presidential race—and Bloomberg promises to keep spending even if another Democrat gets the nomination. (See Talking Points.) The former New York City mayor, 77, is worth about $58 billion, so he can easily afford this indulgence. With no sane limits on political spending, it was inevitable that attempts to buy the White House—and…

3 min.
checking trump’s war powers

What happened Congress moved this week to curtail President Trump’s ability to attack Iran without a formal declaration of war, as the administration continued to give shifting stories for why it ordered a drone strike that killed a top Iranian general and brought the U.S. and Iran to the brink of armed conflict. Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) said he’d mustered the four Republican votes Democrats need to pass a resolution requiring Trump to obtain congressional approval before ordering more strikes against Iran, unless an attack is “imminent.” Earlier, the House voted 224 to 194 (with the backing of three Republicans) to pass a nonbinding resolution to much the same effect. Kaine—who has the support of Sens. Susan Collins (R-Maine), Todd C. Young (R-Ind.), Mike Lee (R-Utah), and Rand Paul (R-Ky.)—said a…

1 min.
it wasn’t all bad

A double-amputee Air Force veteran celebrated his 90th birthday last week by taking a big leap, from a plane 13,000 feet over California’s Lake Elsinore. Stan Rohrer lost both legs in his 80s due to blood clots. But he has kept active—he still kayaks, plays tennis, and cycles with a hand-powered tricycle—and when his daughter Linda proposed going skydiving for his birthday, he readily agreed. Rohrer called his skydive “enjoyable,” but added, “I think I had more excitement the night before when I received my driver’s license that is good until 2025.” After helping save his species, Diego the giant—and remarkably frisky—tortoise is finally slowing down. Now more than 100 years old, Diego was shipped from San Diego Zoo to the Galapagos in 1976 to help repopulate the islands’ threatened Chelonoidis…

2 min.
new ukraine evidence as impeachment moves to senate

What happened House Democrats voted to send articles of impeachment against President Trump to the Senate this week, hours after releasing damaging new evidence of Trump’s alleged scheme to pressure Ukraine into investigating Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi named seven managers to present the prosecution, led by House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff. Pelosi withheld the articles approved by her chamber—abuse of power and obstruction of Congress—for a month to pressure Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to include new witnesses in the trial, which is expected to begin next week. McConnell refused to make any pledge, but several moderate Senate Republicans signaled support for calling witnesses. A Morning Consult poll found that 57 percent of voters want the Senate to hear additional witnesses. Calls for further testimony grew…

2 min.
democrats avoid clashes in last debate before iowa

What happened Six Democratic presidential candidates squared off Tuesday in an unexpectedly cordial debate with no breakout winner. With the first Iowa caucus 20 days off and polls showing a tight four-way race between Joe Biden, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Sen. Bernie Sanders, and Pete Buttigieg, the candidates were expected to take sharp-elbowed digs in search of an advantage. A recent uptick in sniping among the candidates, including dueling accusations between the Warren and Sanders camps, further fueled those expectations. But in the end there were few clashes, as rivals respectfully outlined their differences on overseas troop deployments, the U.S.-Mexico-Canada trade agreement, and health-care reform. The most loaded moment came when moderators brought up a press report that Sanders, in a private 2018 meeting, told Warren he didn’t believe a woman could win…

3 min.
‘megxit’: why meghan and harry are fleeing the royals

She married a handsome prince in a fairy-tale wedding, said Madeleine Kearns in NationalReview​.com. But evidently actress Meghan Markle had her own ideas “of what ‘happily ever after’ should look like.” Last week, the U.S.-born Duchess of Sussex and her husband, Prince Harry, stunned the world with the announcement that they intend, in their words, “to step back as ‘senior’ members of the royal family,” and “carve out a progressive new role.” Details of what the British tabloids quickly branded “Megxit” are vague, said Maureen Callahan in the New York Post, even after a face-to-face meeting this week with the 93-year-old Queen Elizabeth, who was reportedly both livid and crushed. But the Sussexes say they will relocate with their son to Canada, and perhaps later to Los Angeles, and will…