The Week Magazine December 29, 2023 (2024)

/뉴스 및 정치/The Week Magazine/December 29, 2023 / January 5, 2024/이번 호 내용

The Week Magazine|December 29, 2023 / January 5, 2024Editor’s letterOn Dec. 25, 1860, as North and South marched closer to conflict, a diarist in Arkansas wrote how Christmas Day had been short on “rejoicing” (see Briefing, p.12). “Some of the usual ceremonies are going on,” the diarist noted, “but there is a gloom on the thoughts and countenance of all the better portion of our people.” As an inveterate pessimist—blame my British upbringing—I can’t help but detect more than a hint of gloom in the air this holiday season. Unlike that writer, I don’t see civil war on the horizon. But I do see a year filled with violent upheaval and uncertainty. With Congress dawdling on providing desperately needed military aid to Kyiv, Russia could advance deeper into Ukraine and potentially threaten Poland and other NATO member states. In…2 분
The Week Magazine|December 29, 2023 / January 5, 2024Colorado court rules Trump ineligible for presidencyWhat happenedColorado’s highest court this week deemed Donald Trump an insurrectionist and disqualified him from appearing on state ballots, an unprecedented move that threatens to force a showdown at the U.S. Supreme Court. The seven justices on Colorado’s state supreme court, all Democratic appointees, decided 4 to 3 that Trump’s actions on Jan. 6, 2021, justified his removal from state ballots under Section 3 of the 14th Amendment, which bars office seekers who have “engaged in insurrection or rebellion” against the U.S. government. Trump “literally exhorted his supporters to fight at the Capitol” that day, the majority opinion reads. “Our Constitution clearly states that those who violate their oath by attacking our democracy are barred from serving in government.”The court paused the ruling until at least Jan. 4, 2024, the…2 분
The Week Magazine|December 29, 2023 / January 5, 2024Only in AmericaTwo Colorado shoplifters wanted reduced charges because the items they stole were on sale. Thefts below $2,000 are a misdemeanor in Colorado, and lawyers for Michael Green and Byron Bolden, charged with stealing $2,094.98 in merchandise, argued that this figure reflected the full price of the goods, not their sale price. An unpersuaded jury convicted both men of felony theft. “Just because an item is ‘on sale’ doesn’t mean it’s free to steal,” said a prosecutor. The Army is battling a TikTok rebellion by enlisted influencers, who are using the social media platform to make military life sound unpleasant. In one video, a recruit who goes by the name Treull warns followers that Army life at times can be “physically demanding.” He also complains that his commanding officers are prone…1 분
The Week Magazine|December 29, 2023 / January 5, 2024The U.S. at a glanceIvins, UtahHorror show: Ruby Franke, who amassed a huge YouTube following by documenting her draconian approach to raising six children, pleaded guilty this week to four counts of aggravated child abuse. Franke, 41, was arrested in August after her 12-year-old son escaped through a window and showed up at a neighbor’s house emaciated and with open wounds. Evidence suggested he’d been bound with rope and had duct tape around his extremities. Officers found Franke’s 10-year-old daughter in a similar state. Her now-defunct YouTube channel, 8 Passengers, showed her disciplining children by withholding food and banishing one from his bedroom for months. Investigators said that behind the scenes, Franke told her kids they were evil and possessed, and turned to extreme punishments like holding a boy’s head underwater. Her daughter Shari…4 분
The Week Magazine|December 29, 2023 / January 5, 2024Hollywood’s favorite fortune tellerTyler Henry has 600,000 people on his waitlist, all hoping he can reveal what their future holds, said Britt Hennemuth in Vanity Fair. Thanks to his Netflix show and long list of celebrity clients—the Kardashians, The Big Bang Theory’s Jim Parsons, countless NBA players—Henry is now the nation’s most famous medium. Raised in a strongly religious community in California’s Central Valley, he says he had his first premonition at age 10: He woke in the middle of the night knowing his grandmother was about to die. As he tried to explain his vision to his mother, the phone rang. It was his father, delivering the news that Henry’s grandma had passed. “At 10, you don’t recognize that as an ability,” says Henry, 27. “But [it] changed how I grieved thereafter.”…1 분
The Week Magazine|December 29, 2023 / January 5, 2024When Santa fought for the UnionHow the bloodshed and turmoil of the Civil War helped make the modern American Christmas.What was Christmas like in the war?For a country locked in the bloodiest conflict of its history, Christmas was a moment of hope and pain. Its celebration of family togetherness tapped into the yearnings of homesick soldiers and the loved ones they’d left—and heightened the agony of those whose husbands, sons, and brothers were among the war’s 620,000 military dead. Margaret Cahill wrote to her Union officer husband on Dec. 26, 1861, that she tried to write him on Christmas Day, “but I felt so nervous and lonely I could not.” The North and South each used the holiday as a propaganda weapon. An Atlanta newspaper declared Dixie to be “a confederacy of Christmas states,” while…5 분
The Week Magazine|December 29, 2023 / January 5, 2024Actually,crime isnow fallingDavid GrahamThe AtlanticAfter being hit with a crime wave during the pandemic, America is “experiencing a peace wave,” said David Graham. A new survey of crime statistics from 175 cities by independent criminologist Jeff Asher has found that violent crime has plummeted in 2023 to one of the lowest rates in 50 years. That includes an “astonishing” 13 percent drop in the murder rate—one of the steepest drops on record. FBI data for the third quarter show that every category of crime is down except for motor-vehicle theft, which rose primarily because of easy-to-steal Hyundais and Kias. These declines come on top of a 6 percent drop in crime in 2022, according to FBI data. The reasons for the steep decline are as complex and murky as the reasons why…1 분
The Week Magazine|December 29, 2023 / January 5, 2024Let’s skipthe carpthis ChristmasPetr HonzejkHospodarske NovinyA beloved Czech holiday ritual has become tragically outmoded, said Petr Honzejk. Just before Christmas, Czech families set off to buy large live carp “from barrels in city streets,” wrestle the fish home, flopping and gasping, and plop them into the bathtub for a few days to flush out all the mud and grit. The kids often treat the fish as a sort of pet. Then, on Christmas Eve, the parents lop off the fish’s head, gut it, and serve it fried with plum sauce and potato salad for the traditional feast. We’ve always known it’s an odd custom. After all, “the carp in the bathtub is a frequent prop of Czech Christmas comedies.” Yet now we’re also coming to realize that it’s cruel. To the delight of…1 분
The Week Magazine|December 29, 2023 / January 5, 2024Russia: Putin embraces his status as wartime presidentVladimir Putin has decided the war is a winning issue for him, said Silke Bigalke in the Süddeutsche Zeitung (Germany). Last year, when Russia was bogged down in its invasion of Ukraine and soldiers’ mothers were protesting, he didn’t hold his annual call-in Q and A with journalists and citizens. But this year he did, talking for four hours last week on prime-time TV—although the citizen questions were pre-vetted and pre-recorded, not live. “His message: Russia is fighting for its survival, and thanks to him it is doing surprisingly well.” It’s a clever way to excuse Russia’s economic problems in the run-up to the presidential election next March. After all, if Russia is at war against “the entire West,” as Putin claims, then it’s a wonder things aren’t worse. The…2 분
The Week Magazine|December 29, 2023 / January 5, 2024NotedOnly 26 congressional bills made it into law this year, putting this Congress on track to be the least productive in more than 90 years. The previous Congress, the 117th, passed 365 laws during its two-year term, the 116th passed 344, and the 115th passed 443.The New York Times Since 2018, more than 2,000 residents of assisted-living and dementia-care units in the U.S. have wandered away undetected or been left unattended for hours outside. Nearly 100 of those residents died, from causes including drowning, being hit by cars, and exposure to extreme heat or cold.The Washington Post Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg is constructing a 1,400-acre compound in Hawaii that will cost an estimated $270 million, making it one of the most expensive properties in the world. The complex, centered on…1 분
The Week Magazine|December 29, 2023 / January 5, 2024Moms for Liberty: A co-founder’s sex scandalIt’s “hypocrisy on steroids,” said Fabiola Santiago in the Miami Herald. Moms for Liberty co-founder Bridget Ziegler, “the woman who led an ultra-conservative movement that sought to put gays back in the closet,” has admitted she was involved in a three-way sexual affair with her husband and another woman. This revelation emerged when the other woman told police she had been raped by Ziegler’s husband, Florida Republican Party Chairman Christian Ziegler, after she declined another “throuple” encounter and informed him she was always more interested in his wife. Christian Ziegler, now under “active investigation” by police, was censured by the state party this week and may soon be removed from his post. Bridget Ziegler sits on the Sarasota school board, which voted in a nonbinding resolution to remove her, but…2 분
The Week Magazine|December 29, 2023 / January 5, 2024The year in reviewJANUARYThe year begins on a historically dysfunctional note, with the new Republican House majority needing 15 rounds of voting—the most in a century—to name a speaker. To secure the post, Rep. Kevin McCarthy makes several risky commitments to right-wing holdouts, pledging to cap spending at 2022 levels and allow any representative to call a vote for his ouster at any moment. President Biden extends the pandemic-era immigration restrictions known as Title 42, which let authorities turn away most asylum seekers at the southern border, but announces a new pathway to legal entry for 30,000 migrants a month. “Do not just show up at the border,” Biden implores would-be migrants. California suffers a string of mass shootings in the space of two days: A 72-year-old man kills 11 people in a…10 분
The Week Magazine|December 29, 2023 / January 5, 2024The way we were in 2023We fretted about political dysfunction and AI, but found refuge in our phones and Taylor SwiftHow are we feeling?Divided and discontented. Only 18% of us are satisfied with the state of the nation (Gallup), and 78% believe the U.S. is headed in the wrong direction (AP/NORC). 23% think things have gotten so far off track that “true patriots” may have to resort to violence to set things right, including 33% of Republicans (PRRI/Brookings). 79% use a negative term when asked to sum up their feelings about politics, such as “broken,” “polarized,” “disgusting,” or “dumpster fire” (Pew Research Center). Nor is optimism high for the future. 70% think the economy is getting worse (Suffolk University/USA Today), even though 60% rate their own financial situation good or excellent (Quinnipiac). Just 36% believe…3 분
The Week Magazine|December 29, 2023 / January 5, 2024Innovation of the weekSpaceX will start tests on bringing its satellite internet to normal smartphones, said Dan Robinson in The Register. The Federal Communications Commission last week granted SpaceX its request for a trial of its “direct-to-cell” communications technology. Starlink, SpaceX’s constellation of low-orbit satellites, already provides satellite internet access to areas without reliable telecommunications, such as war-torn areas of Ukraine and rural parts of the U.S. SpaceX is partnering with T-Mobile to turn Starlink’s satellites into cellphone towers in space, beaming connectivity “that allows unmodified smartphones to make calls” and texts “via a satellite link.” If the tests are successful, it would distinguish Starlink’s promise of connectivity from Apple’s much more limited SOS feature, which uses satellites to offer text messaging in emergency situations.Jim Wilson/The New York Times/Redux, SpaceX…1 분
The Week Magazine|December 29, 2023 / January 5, 2024The big scientific breakthroughs of 2023……from a cure for diabetes to a fifth force of natureMassive ancient galaxiesAstronomers found a group of galaxies whose existence could upend cosmology. Dubbed “universe breakers,” the six large galaxies observed were fully formed just 500 million to 700 million years after the Big Bang. That’s far too early for such complex star clusters to have arisen according to scientists’ current understanding of the early universe, and it suggests that the theory of galaxy formation—that they start out as clouds of gas and dust and coalesce into billions of stars over extremely long stretches of time—will have to be rethought. “[We] had no idea what we were going to find,” says study co-author Joel Leja. “We found something so unexpected, it actually creates problems for science.”Stem-cell cure for diabetesThree type 1 diabetes patients were freed of the need for daily…2 분
The Week Magazine|December 29, 2023 / January 5, 2024…and the year’s best nonfiction1 How to Say Babylonby Safiya Sinclair (37 Ink, $29)Safiya Sinclair’s brilliant debut memoir “grabs the reader with the beauty of its words,” said Carole V. Bell in The Washington Post. But the Jamaican-born poet also has a rich story to tell, and that story “sticks because of the thorniness and complexity of its ideas.” Sinclair grew up in a Rastafari household ruled over by a domineering musician father who sought to control how she and her siblings dressed and ate, even as they suffered discrimination for being members of Jamaica’s tiny Rastafarian minority. A love of poetry nurtured by her mother proved Sinclair’s gateway to a U.S.-based life of her own making, said The Atlantic. But “Sinclair does more than sketch out a straightforward story of domestic peril and…4 분
The Week Magazine|December 29, 2023 / January 5, 2024Critics’ choice: The year’s top 10 movies1 Past Lives“Once in a while, an understated stunner from a debut director grabs you by the heart and won’t let go,” said Alissa Wilkinson in The New York Times. In 2023, the film world welcomed a promising new talent in playwright Celine Song, who wrote and directed this semi-autobiographical romantic drama about two childhood friends from Korea who grow apart but reunite 24 years later for one fateful week. “It’s brilliant and moving, an examination of destiny, chance, love, and the invisible thread that binds one soul to the next.”2 Killers of the Flower MoonMartin Scorsese’s devastating film about the 1920s Osage Reign of Terror offers “an unflinching look at greed, murder, race, and power,” said Devan Coggan in Entertainment Weekly. “Part crime epic, part gut-wrenching marital drama,” the…4 분
The Week Magazine|December 29, 2023 / January 5, 20242023 food trends: The push and pull of our appetitesDining to the maxNot only were restaurants fun again in 2023, said Joshua David Stein in Eater. They were “over-the-top Decline and Fall of Roman Civilization maximalist fun.” In Denver, the creators of South Park spent millions to reopen Casa Bonita, a large pink pseudo-castle where cliff divers throw themselves into the indoor lagoon near your enchilada-laden table. In an industrial warehouse in Brooklyn, Habibi offered a nonstop Levantine bacchanal complete with grilled lamb, dancing, and champagne in the freight elevator. In Los Angeles, chef Diego Argoti created one of the most joyous dining rooms around when he set up Poltergeist inside a video-game arcade and started serving bold mashups like a Thai Caesar salad and broccoli beef ravioli. It’s all gotten a bit nuts. But if the world is…4 분
The Week Magazine|December 29, 2023 / January 5, 2024Takeover: Lawmakers question U.S. Steel dealThe takeover of a former American industrial powerhouse faces an outcry from lawmakers and workers, said Chris Isidore in U.S. Steel, founded by Andrew Carnegie and J.P. Morgan and at one time “the most valuable company in the world,” agreed to be purchased this week for $14.1 billion by Japan’s largest steelmaker, Nippon Steel. The deal immediately sparked outrage from Sens. John Fetterman (D-Pa.) and J.D. Vance (R-Ohio), who pledged to block the transaction. The United Steelworkers union also “said it will fight” the sale. It’s no secret that U.S. Steel has been seeking life support following years of sliding output and stock value. Last year, the company’s steel shipments represented less than a third of their peak in 1953.Nippon Steel is an easy target, said Nathaniel Taplin in…1 분
The Week Magazine|December 29, 2023 / January 5, 2024Charity of the weekIn 2023, the suicide rate among American teenagers hit its highest mark in decades. Suicide ideation among teens increased, too; according to a recent study by the American Psychological Association, more than 1 in 5 of today’s teens have contemplated suicide. The Washington, D.C.–based nonprofit Active Minds ( aims to prevent youth suicides by decreasing stigma around mental health issues in schools across the country. In 600 high schools and colleges, student-led Active Minds chapters host mental health–centered community-building events on their campuses and provide information and resources for mental health services. Active Minds–trained speakers also share their stories about mental health with students, parents, teachers, and administrators, to spread awareness and engage others in conversations about mental health. Since the organization’s founding in 2003, Active Minds has reached more…1 분
The Week Magazine|December 29, 2023 / January 5, 2024U.S. pushes Israel to scale down war in GazaWhat happenedOfficials from the U.S. and Arab world engaged this week in a flurry of diplomacy aimed at securing a new cease-fire between Israel and Hamas, as the Biden administration urged Israel to move away from high-intensity airstrikes and ground assaults in devastated Gaza. During a visit to Tel Aviv, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin called America’s support for Israel “ironclad,” but said he had discussed with his Israeli counterpart how to implement “more-surgical operations.” Austin’s trip came just days after national security adviser Jake Sullivan met with Israeli officials and urged a shift to a “different phase of the war” focused more on special operations and smaller bombs. Some 20,000 Palestinians have been killed in the 10-week war, according to Hamas-run health authorities in Gaza, and almost all of…3 분
The Week Magazine|December 29, 2023 / January 5, 2024U.S.-led force to protect shipping from Houthi attacksWhat happenedAs Iran-backed Houthi militants intensified their drone and missile attacks on commercial shipping in the Red Sea, the U.S. this week launched a multinational task force to patrol one of the world’s most economically critical bodies of water. Nine other countries signed on to Operation Prosperity Guardian, including the U.K., Canada, and France, but major Middle Eastern powers like Egypt or Saudi Arabia did not. From their bases in Yemen, the Houthis have been targeting cargo ships and fuel tankers passing through the strait between the Gulf of Aden and the Red Sea. At least 10 ships have been hijacked or hit in the past two months, and on just one day last week, the U.S. shot down 14 Houthi drones. The Houthis say they are attacking ships bound…2 분
The Week Magazine|December 29, 2023 / January 5, 2024Good week/bad weekEvolution, after marine biologists discovered a dolphin with hook-shaped “thumbs” on its flippers, swimming off the coast of Greece. The deformed “thumb” may have some bone inside it, said anatomist Lisa Cooper, “but it certainly isn’t mobile.”Cat videos, after NASA used a new laser communication system to beam a 15-second, high-definition video of an engineer’s cat, Taters, to Earth from deep space. The clip of Taters playing with a laser pointer made its 19 million–mile journey in only 101 seconds.Socialism, after former President Donald Trump, who boasted in office that the stock market was “setting one record after another,” complained to supporters in Reno, Nev., that today’s even higher stock prices are only “making rich people richer.”Bad week for:Priorities, after the House, wrapping up a historically unproductive legislative session, passed…1 분
The Week Magazine|December 29, 2023 / January 5, 2024The world at a glanceGrindavik, IcelandVolcano erupts: An Icelandic volcano that had been spitting and rumbling since November finally erupted this week, spewing gases and lava from a fissure 2.5 miles long. The sky glowed red 25 miles away in Reykjavik, the capital, and authorities issued an air-quality alert for volcanic gases. The closest town to the eruption, the fishing village of Grindavik, was evacuated weeks ago because of the thousands of earthquakes shaking the region, and is now threatened by the rapidly expanding eruption zone. But volcanologists say the town could still be spared, and that they don’t currently anticipate disruptions to air travel. “We now wait,” said President Gudni Johannesson, “to see what the forces of nature have in store.”ParisTurn to the right: France enacted sweeping new restrictions on immigration this week,…7 분
The Week Magazine|December 29, 2023 / January 5, 2024How Swift learned to embrace superstardomTaylor Swift reached a transcendent level of fame this year, said Sam Lansky in Time. The pop colossus completed a 66-date tour of the Americas, the first to gross more than $1 billion, and dominated the box office with a concert film. But Swift knows such glory can be fleeting. “I’ve been raised up and down the flagpole of public opinion so many times,” she says. “I’ve been given a tiara, then had it taken away.” Maybe the worst instance was in 2016, when Kanye West released a song in which he fantasized about bedding Swift. The rapper claimed she had approved the lyrics, which Swift denied. She was called a snake after West’s then-wife, Kim Kardashian, released edited videos that appeared to show Swift giving her consent. “[I] was…1 분
The Week Magazine|December 29, 2023 / January 5, 2024Why Israelmust bea Jewish stateAlan G. Futerman and Walter E. BlockThe Wall Street JournalBefore the founding of the State of Israel in 1948, said Alan G. Futerman and Walter E. Block, Jews everywhere were largely defenseless against the persecution and mass murder that marred “Jewish history for 2,000 years.” Wherever Jews fled, they established communities and thrived for a time, and then were “robbed, attacked, murdered, or expelled.” European Crusaders massacred thousands of Jews in 1096. The Spanish Inquisition expelled or killed tens of thousands more. Russian pogroms, riots in the Arab world, and Nazi extermination camps all taught Jews the same grim lesson: “The possibility, the probability, of violent death was always there.” After the Holocaust’s systematic murder of 6 million Jews, it became clear to Jews—and the world—that the only way to…1 분
The Week Magazine|December 29, 2023 / January 5, 2024Viewpoint“With less than a year until the 2024 vote, there is a glaring cognitive split at the top of the Democratic Party. While commentators and many strategists are aghast at Biden’s polling slide and desperate to see a course correction, the president’s aides give every indication that they consider the election very much under control. His top advisers believe that the political-media complex is repeating all its mistakes of 2019 in underestimating Biden and misunderstanding just how low Trump has sunk in voters’ estimation. If the campaign has an unofficial motto, it might be ‘Calm the f--- down, trust the process, and vote for Joe Biden. One. More. Time.’”Gabriel Debenedetti in New York magazine…1 분
The Week Magazine|December 29, 2023 / January 5, 2024The bigoted legacy of Law and JusticeAdrian DudkiewiczSalon24.plA far-right lawmaker has shamed Poland in the eyes of the world by taking a fire extinguisher to the legislature’s Hanukkah menorah, said Adrian Dudkiewicz. Grzegorz Braun, from the monarchist Confederation of the Polish Crown party, stunned fellow lawmakers last week when he sprayed the room, filling it with white haze; he later said that celebrating Hanukkah was “satanic.” It was such scandalous and bigoted behavior that Poland’s Catholic cardinals felt compelled to apologize to “the entire Jewish community.” But it should have come as no surprise. Under the past eight years of rule by the right-wing Law and Justice party, “the excesses of the extreme right” have been shamefully indulged. Braun alone has committed a long list of outrages. Once he disrupted a professor’s lecture on the Holocaust,…1 분
The Week Magazine|December 29, 2023 / January 5, 2024Plenty of Africans are not BlackFrida DahmaniJeune AfriqueTunisians are in a swivet over the news that Denzel Washington will portray Hannibal in a new Netflix movie, said Frida Dahmani. The general who battled the Romans in the Second Punic War, 218–201 B.C., hailed from Carthage, which lay in what’s now Tunisia. His ethnicity was not sub-Saharan Black African, but Phoenician, and Tunisians complain that Washington is simply “too dark,” not to mention far too old. The Oscar winner is pushing 70, while Hannibal was only 29 when he drove his elephants across the Alps. Tunisians say their objections to Washington in the role are not racist but are simply about “historical truth”—never mind that they have “never before” exhibited such passion for Punic history. In fact, Tunisians claim, it is Netflix’s American producers who have…1 분
The Week Magazine|December 29, 2023 / January 5, 2024Impeachment: The GOP’s weak evidenceHouse Republicans last week formally launched an impeachment inquiry into President Biden, said Billy House in Bloomberg. Now they just have to find an impeachable offense to pin on him. In their yearlong investigation, Republicans have focused on claims that Biden—while vice president from 2009 to 2017—profited from the overseas business deals of his troubled son Hunter and his brother James. Some evidence shows that “Hunter landed lucrative deals because of the perception that his father’s influence in Washington could help him get things done.” But no “smoking gun” has been presented that Biden “influenced or personally benefited” from those dealings. Because an impeachment inquiry typically requires evidence of “high crimes and misdemeanors,” Republicans are casting last week’s vote as a purely procedural step to beef up their investigatory powers.…2 분
The Week Magazine|December 29, 2023 / January 5, 2024Trump: Should he be immune to prosecution?Special counsel Jack Smith “just pulled a serious poker move,” said Elie Mystal in The Nation. Smith asked last week for an expedited Supreme Court review of Donald Trump’s “principal defense”: that he’s immune from criminal prosecution for anything he did while president, including allegedly conspiring to subvert the 2020 election. That outlandish argument “runs counter to the very idea of the rule of law.” U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan rejected Trump’s motion, and Smith wants the Supreme Court to leapfrog lower courts and deny Trump’s appeal so that the trial—now scheduled to begin March 4—is not delayed beyond the 2024 election. The Supreme Court agreed to quickly review Smith’s request, but the special counsel’s “gamble” could backfire if five justices side with Trump. The court has three Trump appointees…2 분
The Week Magazine|December 29, 2023 / January 5, 2024Here are 40 questions to test your knowledge of the year’s eventsWashington follies1. Rep. Kevin McCarthy fulfilled his dream to become House speaker in January after 15 floor votes and a chaotic struggle with far-right Republicans. Which of those Republicans forced McCarthy out after just nine months by filing a “motion to vacate”?2. In a speech to fellow Christian evangelical public officials, new House Speaker Mike Johnson said God had told him to “step forward” in this “Red Sea moment,” and compared himself to what biblical figure?3. A leaked audio tape revealed former President Donald Trump bragging about “highly confidential secret information” he was showing guests at his Bedminster golf club. According to a federal indictment, the classified document contained detailed U.S. military plans if war erupted with which country?4. A member of Congress shocked colleagues by displaying on the House…6 분
The Week Magazine|December 29, 2023 / January 5, 2024It must be true…A Texas woman was attacked simultaneously by a hawk and a snake while mowing her lawn. Peggy Jones was on a riding mower when the snake fell on her, likely dropped by a passing hawk. As she tried to shake off the 4-foot reptile, which had coiled around her arm, the hawk swooped down to retrieve its meal, stabbing Jones with its talons. After its fourth dive, the bird flew off with the snake. Covered in blood, Jones rushed to the ER and relayed her story to a doctor, who asked if she was on drugs. “It was a very bizarre, harrowing experience,” she said. A Brazilian man faked his own death to see how many people would attend his funeral. Baltazar Lemos, a ceremonista who conducts funerals, hatched the…2 분
The Week Magazine|December 29, 2023 / January 5, 2024Bytes: What’s new in techKeyless cars face new theft threatThieves are hacking vehicles’ computer systems to steal keyless cars, said Ash-Har Quraishi in Security experts say “tablets that locksmiths and technicians use to reprogram key fobs have been stolen or can be bought online.” With those tablets, thieves can “breach the computer systems that are built into the cars’ communication network,” generally known as its “CAN bus network.” They can then delete and reprogram new keys to steal the car. One after-market security system “creates a firewall to fend off CAN bus attacks.” If the vehicle’s CAN bus is accessed without entering a preprogrammed code, “the car will shut down and be immobilized.” But the system, called IGLA, costs as much as $1,200 to install.Google locks down location historyGoogle will change how it…2 분
The Week Magazine|December 29, 2023 / January 5, 2024Girls rule: A crowning moment for two iconsMovies: The year of Barbie“What more to say about the summer of Barbie?” asked Monica Hesse in The Washington Post. Director Greta Gerwig put out a movie about a plastic doll we all know, and American women of all ages, races, and backgrounds “unearthed pink they didn’t even know they had and showed up at multiplexes in droves.” Tens of millions of men saw it, too, some drawn in by the meme-driven idea that Barbie and Oppenheimer, a drama about the atomic bomb, should be seen as a double feature. But Barbie roughly doubled its “Barbenheimer” running mate in ticket sales, becoming the biggest movie of the year both in the U.S. and globally. It turns out that a movie isn’t “niche” when its target is half of the planet’s…8 분
The Week Magazine|December 29, 2023 / January 5, 2024Critics’ choice: The best albums of 20231 Olivia RodrigoGuts“Olivia Rodrigo is growing up before our eyes,” said Rania Aniftos in Billboard. The Grammy-winning pop ingenue whose acclaimed debut captured the experience of teenage heartbreak is now a 20-year-old woman, “and she’s pissed off about life, love, and how she’s been treated,” just as any young woman might be. The former Disney star’s second album is even spikier than 2021’s Sour, and it solidifies her status as “Gen Z’s premier storyteller” because of the candor with which it addresses insecurities (“Pretty Isn’t Pretty”), social awkwardness (“Ballad of a Homeschooled Girl”), regrettable hookups (“Bad Idea Right?”), manipulative older exes (“Vampire”), and society’s sexist double standards (“All-American Bitch”). And she weds all those messy emotions to melodramatic piano balladry and “crunching” alt-1990s–style rock. Appealing to audiences young and old,…4 분
The Week Magazine|December 29, 2023 / January 5, 2024Critics’ choice: The year’s best TV1 SuccessionTo name Succession the best show of the year is almost boring, said Jen Chaney in But “with bull’s-eye accuracy,” the final season of the already award-laden drama “tapped into the spirit of 2023, a year when rich megalomaniacs at media companies rose up as cultural supervillains.” The surprise early-season death of patriarch and media mogul Logan Roy was a benchmark 2023 cultural event that also unleashed a final scramble among his grasping offspring for control of his empire. “Nothing else on TV offered such a rich combination of Shakespearean drama and corporate buffoonery.” HBO/Max2 The BearYes, it’s a fictional show about a fictional restaurant, said Nina Metz in the Chicago Tribune. But in Season 2, The Bear was once again about “the stuff of life”—the sometimes stressful,…4 분
The Week Magazine|December 29, 2023 / January 5, 2024This week: The best homes of the year1 Santa Barbara, Calif. Michael Carmichael designed the Whale House as an undulating, organic work of art. The 1978 three-bedroom, cedar-shingled home features Venetian plaster, cedar, and stone interiors; 270 Belgian leaded and stained-glass windows; log beams; rock fireplaces; and a 75-foot lap pool flowing through a wood-clad tunnel into a grotto-like interior courtyard. The courtyard, shaded by oaks and sycamores, includes a bamboo-lined shower and a guesthouse. $3,250,000. Daniel Carpenter, Sotheby’s International Realty, (805) 770-0889 Status: On the market2 Philadelphia Set in historic Chestnut Hill, this 1925 restored Colonial Revival is walking distance from dining and galleries and near the arboretum. The four-bedroom house has a Federal-style staircase; multiple fireplaces; a chef’s kitchen with herringbone-tile floors, 11-foot island, and walk-in pantry; a freestanding solarium; and living and dining rooms…3 분
The Week Magazine|December 29, 2023 / January 5, 2024False promises: Nikola founder sentencedTrevor Milton, the founder of electric-vehicle startup Nikola, was sentenced this week to four years in prison, said Jack Ewing in The New York Times. A jury found him guilty last year of one count of securities fraud and two counts of wire fraud for “pumping up Nikola’s stock” during a frenzy for EV startups during the pandemic. Many of his claims, including that the company had “working prototypes of emission-free long-haul trucks,” were false. Nikola “is still in business,” but it has lost 99 percent of its value since 2020.Streaming: Amazon looks to expand in sportsAmazon might bail out the beleaguered regional sports network, Diamond Sports Group, said Tim Baysinger in Axios. The e-commerce giant was in talks this week with Diamond, which “holds rights to more than 40…2 분
The Week Magazine|December 29, 2023 / January 5, 2024Pharma: Biden ratchets up pressure on drug pricesPresident Biden is finally employing a crucial “weapon against Big Pharma’s profiteering,” said Michael Hiltzik in the Los Angeles Times. That’s the Bayh-Dole Act of 1980, which governs how companies can “commercialize inventions that grew out of federally funded research.” The rule lets pharmaceutical companies make money from the partnership, but there’s a crucial caveat: a “march-in rights” provision that says the government can “march in” and take licenses away from companies that aren’t using them on “reasonable” terms. And guess what? Current drug prices are the definition of unreasonable. Biden took a significant step by directing the Commerce Department to lay out rules for the government to exercise “march-in rights,” a signal to drugmakers that they “may lose their patents” if they abuse them.The threat to pull back drug…2 분
The Week Magazine|December 29, 2023 / January 5, 2024Holiday season: Fed optimism cheers investorsChristmas has come early for Wall Street, said John Cassidy in The New Yorker. After nearly two years spent fighting inflation with a historic cycle of drastic tightening, the Federal Reserve last week indicated it is “likely to cut a key interest rate three times next year.” The nod to a long-anticipated “pivot”—from rate hikes to cuts—spurred a euphoric reaction in the stock market, which sent the Dow Jones industrial average to a record high. The central bank seems to be “playing catch-up” to inflation, which has dropped to about 3 percent. Holding borrowing rates well above that figure could end up “driving the economy into recession.” This wasn’t fully a “declaration of victory over inflation,” but it was still music to investors’ ears. And rate cuts carry implications that…2 분
The Week Magazine|December 29, 2023 / January 5, 2024Europe’s AIrules comewith a priceJohn ThornhillFinancial TimesThere’s a proverb that “the U.S. innovates, China emulates, and Europe regulates,” said John Thornhill. Now Europe is proving it with AI. After “months of intense lobbying,” European Union politicians delivered the world’s most comprehensive legislation regulating artificial intelligence. The AI Act “undoubtedly contains some valuable constraints on the use of AI.” A newly created European AI Office will oversee regulation. “Indiscriminate use of facial-recognition technology” and other AI-enabled infringements on civil liberties will be banned, and companies will be mandated “to label AI-generated synthetic content” to curb the spread of disinformation. But Europe may be focused on the risks of AI to the detriment of its “productive possibilities.” Germany and France had vetoed earlier drafts that were even harsher to European AI startups, such as Mistral and…1 분
The Week Magazine|December 29, 2023 / January 5, 2024It wasn’t all badIn June, Jessica Vincent bought a glass vase decorated with red and green swirls at a Goodwill store in Virginia for $3.99. After noticing a small “M” on the bottom, she sensed it could be valuable. She joined a Facebook group for glass enthusiasts, and members told her it might be a design by Italian architect Carlo Scarpa. She contacted the Wright Auction House, which confirmed the authenticity and sold the artwork to a European collector last week for $107,100. The vase’s perfection was key, said auction house president Richard Wright; “even a small chip,” he said, would have cut its value to under $10,000. After 23 years declared “extinct in the wild,” the scimitar-horned oryx has been reclassified as “endangered” by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature,…1 분
The Week Magazine|December 29, 2023 / January 5, 2024Election 2024: Will it be a referendum on abortion rights?“It’s like clockwork,” said Zachary Basu in Axios. Every time Republicans “appear to be building political momentum,” voters get a reminder of “the GOP’s gaping—and still unresolved—vulnerabilities on abortion rights.” Earlier this month, it was the harrowing story of Kate Cox, the Dallas mother of two who fled Texas for medical care after the state refused to let her terminate a nonviable pregnancy that threatened her fertility. Now it’s the news that the Supreme Court will hear an appeal of a lower-court ruling that would curb women’s access to mifepristone, barring the commonly used abortion pill from being sent by mail or prescribed by telemedicine. That announcement has Republicans “nervous,” said Ellie Quinlan Houghtaling in The New Republic. Since the court overturned Roe v. Wade in 2022, support for abortion…3 분
The Week Magazine|December 29, 2023 / January 5, 2024In other newsMeadows loses bid to move Georgia case to federal courtA panel of federal judges unanimously rejected a request this week from Donald Trump’s former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows to have his case moved to federal court. The panel ruled that his alleged efforts to subvert Joe Biden’s 2020 victory in Georgia were not related to his White House job. The decision appears to lower the chances that former President Trump, or any of the other 18 co-defendants accused of racketeering and other crimes, will be able to shift the case to a more favorable jurisdiction. The chief of staff’s role “does not include altering valid election results in favor of a particular candidate,” 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Chief Judge William Pryor, an appointee of President…1 분
The Week Magazine|December 29, 2023 / January 5, 2024Von Fürstenberg’s survival instinctFashion designer Diane von Fürstenberg’s birth was a miracle, said Jess Cartner-Morley in The Guardian (U.K.). Her Belgian Jewish mother, Liliane Halfin, was arrested by the Nazis in 1944 and sent to Auschwitz on a cattle train. She was then moved to Ravensbrück, a concentration camp for women in northern Germany. When it was liberated 13 months later, Halfin “was a bag of bones in a field of ashes,” says von Fürstenberg, 76. At an American base, doctors didn’t expect her to live. But, reunited with her fiancé, Halfin married and had von Fürstenberg within 18 months. “I was born so close to being liberated that I consider myself a survivor, too,” she says. “My birth was a triumph of love over misery. That is my flag. My mother used…1 분
The Week Magazine|December 29, 2023 / January 5, 2024In the newsMatthew Perry died from the acute effects of ketamine, a powerful anesthetic that the Friends actor had been taking for anxiety and depression, according to an autopsy report released last week. Perry, 54, was found unresponsive in a hot tub at his Los Angeles home in October; no illicit drugs were found at his house. The report noted that the amount of ketamine in Perry’s body was equivalent to the general anesthesia given to a surgical patient. The drug typically metabolizes in a few hours, so the ketamine in his system could not have been from Perry’s last treatment session a week and a half earlier. The autopsy said coronary artery disease made him more susceptible to the effects of the anesthetic. In his 2022 memoir, Perry said ketamine therapy…2 분
The Week Magazine|December 29, 2023 / January 5, 2024Giulianisold his soulto MAGADavid FrenchThe New York Times“Rudy Giuliani isn’t truly Rudy Giuliani any longer,” said David French. In his long descent from “post-9/11 American hero” to widely mocked defender of Donald Trump, Giuliani “became a MAGA man.” It was that pathetic Trump goon, and not the former crusading prosecutor or New York City mayor, whom a jury last week ordered to pay two former Atlanta election workers $148 million in damages. Giuliani’s false and defamatory claim that Ruby Freeman and Shaye Moss, a Black mother and her daughter, miscounted ballots in 2020 caused these two Black women to face incessant racist death threats that nearly ruined their lives. The verdict was against Giuliani, but “make no mistake, MAGA was on trial,” too. Like Mark Meadows, Jim Jordan, Kari Lake, and other MAGA…1 분
The Week Magazine|December 29, 2023 / January 5, 2024It must be true…Three men who allegedly robbed a check-cashing service in Colorado were foiled when other thieves stole their getaway vehicle. The armed and masked men, who may have previously stolen the vehicle themselves, emerged from the check-cashing service with their loot to find their car gone, and attempted to escape on foot. Two were quickly arrested and the third is being sought, said the Commerce City police department. “We can’t make this stuff up,” the department wrote on Facebook. Commuter trains in Newark, N.J., were disrupted on a recent morning by a bull running loose on the tracks. “It was just kinda trotting down the track,” said Jason Monticelli, one of many commuters stunned to see the long-horned animal wandering around a very urban area. Chased by police, the bull—which was…1 분
The Week Magazine|December 29, 2023 / January 5, 2024Ukraine: As U.S. aid dries up, Europe extends a hand“A miracle happened” in Brussels last week, said Oleksandr Demchenko in (Ukraine). In a slap in the face to Vladimir Putin, European leaders agreed to begin official negotiations for Ukraine to join the European Union. The Russian president had written off Europe as “completely toothless.” He assumed that as the U.S. began to grow tired of funding our battle against the Russian invaders, Europe would abandon us as well—perhaps using a veto by the Kremlin-friendly EU member Hungary as an excuse. But “he was wrong.” EU leaders struck a deal with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán: They released $11 billion in EU funds they’d been withholding over Orbán’s democratic backsliding, and in exchange, the Hungarian leader conveniently left the room during the vote to open Ukraine’s accession talks. “This…2 분
The Week Magazine|December 29, 2023 / January 5, 2024Smile at a foe, prepare for the backlashRicardo CorrêaEstadãoSocial media has turned Brazilian politics into mortal combat, said Ricardo Corrêa. Candidates cater to their party’s most extreme fringes to get elected only to find themselves held “hostage to social media” by partisan trolls who scrutinize their every move for fealty to the cause. “Your political survival depends on how you react to every fact,” such as which side you pick in a foreign war, or whether your favorite candy is made by a company considered “right-wing or left-wing.” Even if you are inclined to “behave congenially with a colleague at the congressional coffee shop,” once the camera is on, you “must act like a ferocious beast.” Sen. Sergio Moro learned that lesson last week, when he was photographed hugging and smiling with his nominal political enemy, Flávio…1 분
The Week Magazine|December 29, 2023 / January 5, 2024Climate: Will COP28 change anything?World leaders last week struck a climate deal that’s “both historic and 30 years too late,” said Karl Mathiesen in Politico. At the 28th Conference of the Parties (COP28), an annual climate summit organized by the U.N., some 200 nations committed for the first time to “transitioning away from fossil fuels.” But tougher language calling for the complete “phaseout” of planet-warming oil, natural gas, and coal was stripped from the deal to appease the United Arab Emirates, the summit’s host nation, and other petrostates. How shortsighted, said Nature in an editorial. Earth’s temperature is now 1.3 degrees Celsius above pre–industrial revolution levels, and we’re “all but certain” to blow past the 2015 Paris climate agreement’s goal of limiting warming to 1.5 degrees. We’d need to eliminate carbon emissions in “little…2 분
The Week Magazine|December 29, 2023 / January 5, 2024Wit &Wisdom“There’s no point in actively trying to, quote unquote, defeat your enemies. Trash takes itself out every single time.” Taylor Swift, quoted in Time“Tradition is not the worship of ashes, but the preservation of fire.” Gustav Mahler, quoted in“Two percent of the people think; 3 percent of the people think they think; and 95 percent of the people would rather die than think.” George Bernard Shaw, quoted in The European Conservative“In real life, I assure you, there is no such thing as algebra.” Fran Lebowitz, quoted in Today“‘Thou shalt not’ might reach the head, but it takes ‘Once upon a time’ to reach the heart.” Author Philip Pullman, quoted in Reformed Journal“There is a crack, a crack in everything/That’s how the light gets in.” Leonard Cohen, quoted in Jewish…1 분
The Week Magazine|December 29, 2023 / January 5, 2024Whose Wit & Wisdom?1. “A bird doesn’t sing because it has an answer; it sings because it has a song.”2. “The people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones that do.”3. “Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it—good and hard.”4. “While the main purpose of a door is to admit, its secondary purpose is to exclude.”5. “Good judgment comes from experience, and experience comes from making bad decisions.”…1 분
The Week Magazine|December 29, 2023 / January 5, 2024Smart glasses: Meta tries again with wearable techMeta’s updated smart glasses are like Google Glass 2.0, said Scott Stein in CNET, except this time around the product could be “incredibly useful.” Meta introduced its first smart Ray-Bans in 2021, but they didn’t offer much beyond a small camera lens for recording images. Last week, the company began rolling out a feature powered by artificial intelligence that “wowed me.” The glasses can “look at images and interpret them,” allowing the wearer to ask questions about what it’s seeing. “Hey, Meta,” I asked my shades. “Look at this and tell me which of these teas is caffeine-free.” A little click sounded in my ears followed by Meta’s AI voice telling me to select the chamomile. It had read the labels and made its own judgments. One warning: “I asked…2 분
The Week Magazine|December 29, 2023 / January 5, 2024Some of the things they said were good for us……and some of the things we were told to avoidTai chi may help stave off dementia. Researchers recruited 300 adults who had reported signs of memory decline. The participants initially scored an average of 25 in the Montreal Cognitive Assessment, just below the normal range of 26 to 30. Usually, adults in that condition lose about a half point a year on the test. But after six months, those who had practiced tai chi—which involves slow, intentional movements combined with deep breathing—twice a week improved their score by 1.5 points. Those who had done the exercises with additional cognitive challenges improved by about 3 points. “We’ve just given you six extra years of cognitive function,” says study author Elizabeth Eckstrom. “That’s a lot.”Marriage could cut your chance of developing diabetes. Researchers examined the health records of more than 3,300…6 분
The Week Magazine|December 29, 2023 / January 5, 2024Critics’ choice: The year’s best novels…1 Biography of Xby Catherine Lacey (FSG, $28)X is a fictional character, but Catherine Lacey “animates her so fully that I’m half-convinced she might be alive out there somewhere,” said Hillary Kelly in the Los Angeles Times. In a novel that “burns hot and never fades,” we get to know the recently deceased title character—a renowned novelist and performance artist, and perhaps a fraud—through the eyes of her widow, “who is just as confused and curious as the reader about who her dead wife really was.” X’s life story unfolds in an alternate-universe United States in which the South seceded in 1945, said Kenzie Bryant in Vanity Fair, and you might call its world dystopian “if the fictional history didn’t so neatly parallel this country’s actual one.” Lacey further blurs…4 분
The Week Magazine|December 29, 2023 / January 5, 2024The best of…2024 après-ski wearBorsalino Baker Boy CapIn St. Moritz, a hat or cap from Italian milliner Borsalino is almost de rigueur, whether you choose a beanie, a beret, or the Baker Boy, fashioned from a blend of virgin wool and Alpaca.$290, borsalino.comSource: AfarPerfect Moment Après Turtleneck SweaterWhen the skiing ends, “a knit with throwback appeal and soft threads is exactly what you’ll want to wear,” and you can count on Perfect Moment for stylish options.$360, perfectmoment.comSource: Harper’s BazaarGive’r Frontier MittensMittens keep fingers warmer than gloves do, and these fleece-lined mitts made of waxed cowhide are “durable, weather-proof, and remarkably warm.”$139, give-r.comSource: Travel + LeisurePucci x Fulsap Elancia Swirled PantsFulsap, “a French skiwear juggernaut,” has set fashion trends in the Alps for decades and is now collaborating with Pucci on a range of suits,…2 분
The Week Magazine|December 29, 2023 / January 5, 2024The bottom lineAbout 58 percent of U.S. households owned stocks in 2022, according to the Federal Reserve. That’s up from 53 percent in 2019 and marks the highest household stock-ownership rate recorded in the triennial survey. The Wall Street Journal Southwest Airlines agreed to pay a $140 million fine for last year’s holiday travel meltdown, when it canceled nearly 17,000 flights and stranded 2 million passengers. The Department of Transportation said the fine is 30 times larger than any it has issued for consumer-protection violations. Travelers filed more than 26,000 formal complaints about U.S. airlines in the first five months of 2023—more than double the number during the same period last year, and on pace to break last year’s record. Costco has sold more than $100 million worth of gold…1 분
The Week Magazine|December 29, 2023 / January 5, 2024Speculators feast on FTX’s carcassTraders are looking to profit off FTX’s bankruptcy, said David Yaffe-Bellany and Matthew Goldstein in The New York Times. The story of the failed crypto exchange “has come full circle, as investors who once used the platform to place risky bets now gamble on the company’s prospects in bankruptcy court.” Months ago, firms that lost substantial sums to FTX’s dramatic collapse in November 2022 began selling their claims for pennies on the dollar, “betting that it was better to collect some fast cash than wait years for the husk of FTX to start paying creditors back.” The market for such claims has since exploded as speculators rush in. “Claims trading isn’t new,” and brokers handling the deals operate with little oversight. Claim transfers are usually recorded on the bankruptcy court…1 분
The Week Magazine|December 29, 2023 / January 5, 2024What the experts sayAmerica’s biggest money gripesWhen Americans complain about prices, college is no longer at the top of the list, said Simran Parwani in Axios. From 2012 to 2020, college was the top subject Americans wondered about when they asked Google “why is ___ so expensive?” according to a recent Google Trends analysis. It was replaced by “lumber” in 2021, “gas” in 2022, and “eggs” this year. Search queries varied by state. For instance, “Connecticut was most curious about ‘Hamilton tickets’ in 2017.” The cost of “insulin” was also a hot topic in 2019, briefly. Zooming out, “the most globally searched item” this year related to costs was “flights.” But “overall, people in the U.S. asked about the high cost of ‘college’ more frequently than any other country.”The real lessons of fake…2 분
The Week Magazine|December 29, 2023 / January 5, 2024Kidnapping,torture, andonline fraudIsabelle QianThe New York TimesNeo Lu thought he was starting a new job as a translator for an e-commerce company in Bangkok, said Isabelle Qian. Instead, he was kidnapped and forced to work for an online scam operation. Lu’s ordeal exposed a massive human-trafficking operation that “has taken root in Southeast Asia’s poorest nations.” Hundreds of thousands of people are being forced to work for scam gangs “that prey on the lonely and vulnerable around the world.” Lu documented his life inside “what looked like a labor camp” in Myanmar, and contacted The New York Times while still there. The gang that pressed Lu into service “focused on trying to defraud Chinese-speaking women between the ages of 30 and 50” into depositing money into a fake investment app. The scheme,…1 분
The Week Magazine|December 29, 2023 / January 5, 2024How Mahbuba found her voiceA young Afghan girl arrived in the U.S. with no hearing and no language skills, said Elly Fishman in a story for WBEZ in Chicago. As she learned to sign, her world opened up.MAHBUBA LOVES RECESS. Sitting in front of an overstuffed toy bin, the 6-year-old Afghan girl picks out a small collection of wooden dolls. She gives each doll a name that she signs with her hands.A year ago, this level of play was unthinkable. Pushing back her royal blue headscarf, Mahbuba begins moving the dolls across a two-dimensional playground that she’s sketched on a notepad. In a busy daytime scene, two dolls fight over the swing set, a drama she relates through pantomime. Another kid sits on the bench. Mahbuba, who was born deaf, is fastidious in her…10 분
The Week Magazine December 29, 2023 (2024)
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