BUSINESS TRUMP’S WAR ON AMAZON p.34 MAIN STORIES A growing teacher rebellion Jeff Bezos p.5 TALKING POINTS The gun debate gets personal p.16 Laura Ingraham THE BEST OF THE U.S. AND INTERNATIONAL MEDIA Discovering Trumpland What Roseanne’s return reveals about TV, politics, and America p.6 APRIL 13, 2018 VOLUME 18 ISSUE 868 ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT EVERYTHING THAT MATTERS WWW.THEWEEK.COM Contents 3 Editor’s letter President Trump has a long enemies list, but Jeff Bezos has now shot up to number two, right behind Robert Mueller. Over the past week, the president unleashed a Twitter rant against Bezos and his company, Amazon, and threatened to use the federal government to punish him—thereby causing the company’s stock to plunge 8 percent and lose $75 billion in market value. (See Business.) Trump, aides say, is “obsessed” with Amazon and Bezos— largely because Bezos also owns The Washington Post, which has covered this administration aggressively. “How can I f--- with him?” the president has asked aides, sources tell Vanity Fair. The options under discussion include an anti-trust action, raising postal rates, and the cancellation of Amazon’s multibillion-dollar Pentagon contract. “It’s war,” White House sources warn. Say this about President Trump: He doesn’t hide his cards. His Twitter feed is a running MRI of his mind, revealing his obsessions, personal vendettas, and motives. The same week he was hurling threats at Amazon, he was tweeting lavish praise of the Sinclair Broadcast Group, whose owners have ordered its 173 stations to run pro-Trump commentary and attack “fake” news from other media, such as CNN. (See Best U.S. Columns.) Sinclair, as it happens, is seeking both Justice Department and FCC waivers to acquire another 42 stations. Does anyone doubt Sinclair will get a green light? Meanwhile, the Justice Department is blocking a merger of CNN’s parent company, Time Warner, with AT&T. Is that because Trump despises CNN? Other presidents have criticized individual companies and complained about press bias, but Trump’s blatant use of state power to punish specific TV networks, newspapers, and private companies who don’t kowtow to his will has no precedent—except in autocracies like Russia, Turkey, and Venezuela, where it was the first step in the erosion of freedom. That couldn’t happen here, of course. William Falk Trump’s own party wouldn’t stand for it. Would it? Editor-in-chief NEWS 4 Main stories Trump calls for troops on the border; teachers strike in Oklahoma and Kentucky; VA upheaval Editor-in-chief: William Falk Managing editors: Theunis Bates, Carolyn O’Hara Deputy editor/International: Susan Caskie Deputy editor/Arts: Chris Mitchell Senior editors: Harry Byford, Alex Dalenberg, Andrew Murfett, Dale Obbie, Hallie Stiller, Frances Weaver Art director: Dan Josephs Photo editor: Loren Talbot Copy editors: Jane A. Halsey, Jay Wilkins Researchers: Christina Colizza, Joyce Chu Contributing editors: Ryan Devlin, Bruno Maddox 6 Controversy of the week Is a hit Roseanne reboot a vindication of red-state America? 7 The U.S. at a glance Mueller tells Trump he’s not a criminal target; a shooting at YouTube HQ 8 The world at a glance London’s bloody knifecrime surge; Trump pushes for a Syria pullout Getty, Newscom 10 People Tiffany Haddish’s nightmare childhood; why Barry Diller misses old Hollywood 11 Briefing The U.S. is still recovering from the 2008 financial crisis. Could another crash happen? 12 Best U.S. columns Sinclair’s pro-Trump TV propaganda; how to raise “free-range” children 15 Best international columns Israel’s deadly response to a Palestinian mass protest 16 Talking points Conservatives vs. the Parkland survivors; citizenship and the census; a call to repeal the Second Amendment EVP, publisher: John Guehl Amazon shares sank after President Trump slammed the company. (p.34) ARTS 21 Books An intoxicating memoir of addiction and recovery 22 Author of the week The greatest living English-language writer you’ve never heard of 23 Stage & Music Kacey Musgraves goes psychedelic on Golden Hour 24 Film A fatal Kennedy scandal revisited in Chappaquiddick Tiffany Haddish (p.10) LEISURE 26 Food & Drink Three restaurants that keep it all in the family 27 Travel Touring Paleolithic cave art in southern France 30 Consumer The best women’s rain jackets for spring showers BUSINESS 31 News at a glance The U.S.-China trade war heats up; Spotify becomes a Wall Street hit 32 Making money Tips for shopping for new and used cars 34 Best columns Trump declares war on Amazon; how to judge the corporate tax cuts Sales development director: Samuel Homburger Account directors: Shelley Adler, Lauren Peterson Account manager: Alison Fernandez Midwest director: Lauren Ross Southeast directors: Jana Robinson, Corinne Smith West Coast directors: James Horan, Rebecca Treadwell Integrated marketing director: Jennifer Freire Integrated marketing managers: Kelly Dyer, Caila Litman Marketing design director: Joshua Moore Marketing designer: Triona Moynihan Research and insights manager: Joan Cheung Sales & marketing coordinator: Alma Heredia Senior digital account manager: Yuliya Spektorsky Programmatic manager: George Porter Digital planners: Jennifer Riddell, Talia Sabag Chief operating & financial officer: Kevin E. Morgan Director of financial reporting: Arielle Starkman EVP, consumer marketing & products: Sara O’Connor Consumer marketing director: Leslie Guarnieri HR manager: Joy Hart Operations manager: Cassandra Mondonedo Adviser: Ian Leggett Chairman: John M. Lagana U.K. founding editor: Jolyon Connell Company founder: Felix Dennis Visit us at TheWeek.com. For customer service go to www .TheWeek.com/service or phone us at 1-877-245-8151. Renew a subscription at www .RenewTheWeek.com or give a gift at www.GiveTheWeek.com. THE WEEK April 13, 2018 4 NEWS The main stories... Trump orders the Guard to the border What happened It wasn’t all bad QVirginia police officer Jacob Moore had just gotten to work when he heard that a house in his neighborhood was on fire. Moore, 28, raced to the scene and rescued the elderly homeowners before re-entering the burning building to find their beloved dog, Zoey. Footage from Moore’s body camera shows him rushing upstairs through the smoke and grabbing the barking dog. Moore sprinted out, and handed Zoey to her grateful owners. “It felt great to be able to do my job to its fullest,” he says. “Especially that close to home.” THE WEEK April 13, 2018 QIn his day job, Scott Foster is an accountant. But last week the 36-year-old became an NHL legend. The former college hockey player from Oak Park, Ill., had been tapped as an emergency goalie for the Chicago Blackhawks before, but had never been called on to play. That changed when Blackhawks backup goalie Collin Delia started cramping up in the third period and needed a substitute. With only 14 minutes left on the clock, Foster managed to block seven shots from the Winnipeg Jets, helping his team clinch a 6-2 victory. “This is a dream,” says the father of two. “This is something I can go home and tell my kids.” Foster: Accountant on ice QAn Iowa tattoo artist is helping wipe away hate, one tattoo removal at a time. Robert “Woodstock” Bader, 40, recently opened Retrospect Tattoo Removal, where people with racist or gang-related tattoos can have the symbols burned off with a laser—free. Bader came up with the idea after talking at his Dubuque parlor with a client who wanted a tattoo in honor of his baby granddaughter, next to an old inking of a racist symbol that he was now deeply ashamed of. “It’s basically good versus evil,” Bader says of his new venture. “Everybody deserves a second chance.” Illustration by Howard McWilliam. On the cover: Roseanne Barr. Cover photos from Newscom, Reuters, Newscom Getty, AP Trump’s dreaded “caravan” is also an invented crisis, said the Los Angeles Frustrated by his inability to get Times. It’s an annual protest staged by funding for his border wall, President the activist group People Without BorTrump threatened this week to take ders to draw attention to people fleeing tough action against illegal immigraviolence in countries like Honduras, tion, directing states to put National Guatemala, and El Salvador. Some of Guard troops on the southwestern the 1,200 people involved will attempt border and declaring efforts to protect to seek asylum in the U.S.—which the young undocumented immigrants U.S. government can deny—but many “dead.” Trump vented his anger have already been given visas to stay on Twitter over the course of three in Mexico. The Border Patrol appredays, with a series of tweets blaming hended 37,000 people at the border Democrats and the Mexican governin February, so the numbers involved ment for a “massive inflow of drugs The ‘caravan’: Central American refugees in Mexico aren’t frightening. That’s still way too and people” into the U.S. In particular, many people, said WashingtonExaminer.com. “A country without the president pointed to the threat posed by a “caravan” of about borders, Trump repeatedly says, is no country at all.” That’s true, 1,200 Central Americans headed north through Mexico, who Trump claimed want to take advantage of DACA protections, even and we should do what it takes to enforce our laws. though the program is in limbo and new migrants wouldn’t qualify anyway. “Border Patrol Agents are not allowed to properly do their What the columnists said Looks like “President Fox News Grandpa saw something on televijob at the Border because of ridiculous liberal (Democrat) laws,” sion again,” said Jack Holmes in Esquire.com. Trump’s favorite Trump tweeted. “NO MORE DACA DEAL!” cable news network has been running frantic coverage of the immiTrump later told reporters that he wanted the U.S. military to grant “caravan,” triggering his tweetstorm. But Trump isn’t totally guard the U.S. border until the massive wall he promised during addled. He knows his most ardent supporters feel let down by his the presidential campaign could be built. The Posse Comitatus Act inability to get funding for his “Big, Beautiful Wall” in the recent bars the military from civil law enforcement on U.S. soil without budget bill, so he’s trying to reassure them he still hates immigrants. approval from Congress, but the National Guard can provide supThat caravan of migrants marching toward the U.S. border is port services. The White House says Guard units will conduct air and camera surveillance of the border but will not have direct con- not imaginary, said John Daniel Davidson in TheFederalist.com, and Trump is smart to seize on it. Even if these people are denied tact with migrants. “Until we can have a wall and proper security, asylum, the law requires them to be detained while their requests we’re going to be guarding our border with the military,” Trump are considered, and many will eventually be released into the U.S. said. “That’s a big step.” When will Democrats opposed to real immigration reform admit What the editorials said they want “open borders, mass immigration, and amnesty?” Trump’s unhinged immigration tweetstorm is “fact-free fearmonIf Trump were serious about border security, said Eugene Robinson gering,” said The Washington Post. Illegal immigration at the in The Washington Post, he would have taken Democrats’ offer southwestern border is the lowest it’s been since 1971, and has to fund his wall in exchange for enshrining DACA protections been falling for years thanks to an improved Mexican economy in law. But Trump couldn’t take yes for an answer, and piled on and beefed-up U.S. security. Border Patrol arrests—the best meadeal-breaker demands like major cuts to legal immigration. As long sure of illegal immigration flows—fell from 700,000 to 409,000 a year under President Obama and have already dropped to 304,000 as there’s no wall, he can rail against brown invaders to rile up his white base. “His antipathy toward Latinos and non-whites is genuunder President Trump. Trump’s fever dream of a “porous border ine, I trust,” but his wall “is pure counterfeit.” overrun with drug runners and criminals” simply doesn’t exist. ... and how they were covered NEWS 5 Teacher walkouts spread across red states What happened homa has slavishly followed conservatives’ tax-cutting philosophy, slashing rates for oil Tens of thousands of public-school teachers and gas companies and top earners. The ineviin Oklahoma and Kentucky left classrooms table budget shortfall has starved public serand swarmed their state capitols this week, the vices of funding and led to Oklahoma’s current latest in a wave of teacher protests in GOPeducational crisis: “four-day school weeks, dominated states against cuts to pay, benefits, cold buildings, and decades-old textbooks.” and school funding. Oklahoma’s Republican Gov. Mary Fallin tried to head off the walkout The real problem is that public schools aren’t by signing a bill last week that gives the state’s good stewards of public money, said Benjateachers—who earn an average of $41,834 min Scafidi in FoxNews.com. Look at West a year, making them among the country’s Virginia: The number of students in public lowest paid—an average raise of $6,100, their Protesting at the Oklahoma State Capitol schools there dropped by 40,000 from 1992 first pay hike in a decade. The bill also adds $51 million in education funding, paid for in part by a tax on oil and to 2015, yet the number of nonteaching staff—new assistant pringas production. But for teachers fed up with overcrowded classes and cipals, curriculum specialists, district officials—in the public school tattered textbooks, it wasn’t enough. They demanded a $10,000 raise system increased by 2,500 during that period. The cost of all those extra employees is more than $232 million annually, enough to give and an extra $200 million in school funding, and ringed the capitol, all West Virginia educators an $11,620 raise—“much more than the chanting, “No funding, no future!” In Kentucky, teachers rallied teachers recently received.” against pension reforms, shutting down dozens of school districts. The walkouts came a month after West Virginia teachers staged a nine-day strike that closed schools across the state, winning a 5 percent pay raise. The unrest shows that teachers have reached “a tipping point,” said Lily Eskelsen Garcia, president of the National Education Association, a leading union. The next red state to erupt could be Arizona, where teachers have threatened to strike if they don’t get a 20 percent raise and more money for schools. What the columnists said This growing revolt is the “predictable result of the Republican model of governing,” said Paul Waldman in WashingtonPost.com. Okla- This isn’t just about pay, said Valerie Strauss in The Washington Post. Teachers have a host of grievances, including the loss of collective-bargaining rights and an education secretary, Betsy DeVos, who’s spent decades bashing public schools and promoting alternatives. The result may be “a period of sustained activism that is as much a defense of the public education system” as it is a demand for bigger paychecks. These protests could “subside as the school year ends,” said Ed Kilgore in NYMag.com. But if GOP legislatures fail to quell teachers’ anger, Republicans could pay a steep price in this fall’s elections, “when 36 governorships and most of the national state legislatures are up for grabs.” Shulkin cries foul over his ouster at the VA What happened In his latest Cabinet shake-up, President Trump last week ousted beleaguered Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin and tapped as his replacement Ronny Jackson, the chief White House physician. Shulkin, a holdover from the Obama administration, had been embroiled in infighting with politically appointed aides and mired in scandal over his use of taxpayer money for a trip to Europe last summer with his wife. The former hospital administrator claimed his firing—which Trump announced on Twitter—was caused by “political forces” who want to privatize the struggling agency. “They saw me as an obstacle to privatization,” Shulkin wrote, “who had to be removed.” Democrats immediately questioned whether Jackson has the management experience to oversee the government’s second-largest department, which has 378,000 employees and has struggled to provide care to 9 million veterans. An active-duty rear admiral in the Navy, who served as White House physician for Presidents George W. Bush and Obama, Jackson made headlines in January for his effusive comments on Trump’s annual physical, in which he praised the president’s “incredibly good genes” and joked that if Trump’s diet were better “he might live to be 200 years old.” At a fundraiser last month, Trump showered praise on the physician, saying, “He’s like central casting—like a Hollywood star.” AP What the columnists said Shulkin “had to go,” said Noah Rothman in Commentary Magazine.com. His 10-day “business” trip to Europe last year— half of which he spent sightseeing—cost taxpayers $122,000. During the outing, he improperly accepted tickets to a Wimbledon match as a gift. And to try to justify Mrs. Shulkin’s airfare, his chief of staff doctored an email to suggest the secretary was receiving a nonexistent award from the Danish government. Yet by claiming he was the victim of a “brutal power struggle” over VA privatization, Shulkin “made himself out to be a martyr.” Don’t be fooled. Shulkin’s travel scandal was undeniably “embarrassing,” said John Cassidy in NewYorker.com. But he was an “able” secretary who garnered praise from major veterans’ groups. “Given all the grift and chaos” elsewhere in the administration, it seems strange that the president would be so upset over airfare to Europe. That’s why Shulkin’s theory about his dismissal seems perfectly plausible. During his tenure, he “approved the contracting out of some services to private providers,” but resisted the widespread privatization being pushed by conservative think tanks and the Koch brothers. That earned him some “influential enemies,” who may well have “used the expenses scandal” to bring him down. Either way, the Senate should block Jackson’s nomination, said Mikki Kendall in WashingtonPost.com. The VA is a sprawling bureaucracy, with 1,200 health facilities and a budget of nearly $200 billion. It’s also “deeply dysfunctional,” thanks to “chronic understaffing, limited investment in infrastructure,” and confusing guidelines governing the allocation of benefits. Jackson’s “only apparent qualification” for running the department is his knack for presidential flattery. “Veterans deserve better.” THE WEEK April 13, 2018 6 NEWS Controversy of the week The new Roseanne: Paying attention to Trump’s America most toxic elements of Trumpism, said Roxane Gay in The If Hollywood truly cared about diversity, said Kyle Smith in New York Times, Roseanne ends up just “normalizing Trump NYPost.com, it would be “wise to take note of the largest and his warped, harmful political ideologies.” minority it’s currently ignoring: Trump voters.” Last week, after a 21-year hiatus, the show Roseanne returned to a The show also normalizes Roseanne Barr herself, said monster audience of more than 18 million and a daring Rob Sheffield in RollingStone.com. Once upon a time, message: “Trump supporters are human.” The reborn Barr, now 65, was “the most abrasively left-wing show reunites Roseanne Barr and John Goodman presence on network TV,” an unapologetic champion as Roseanne and Dan Conner, heads of a big, of every woman trying to keep a home and a family messy, blue-collar family in the Illinois rust belt, together in post-industrial America. Since leaving our still squabbling, loving each other, and trying screens, Barr has “swerved right with a vengeance.” to make ends meet. But something has changed. The new Roseanne can often be found spouting off Once an obvious Democrat, Barr’s titular charon Twitter, said Dan Fishback in Esquire.com, calling acter has morphed—like Barr herself—into a passionate supporter of President Trump, who, she explains, Her views have changed. Clinton aide Huma Abedin a “filthy Nazi whore” and peddling lunatic conspiracy theories from the far-right “talked about jobs” and promised to “shake things fever swamps. Just this week, she tweeted that Trump “has freed up.” With wit and humor, she trades insults with her sister, Jackie so many children held in bondage to pimps”—a claim stemming (Laurie Metcalf), a liberal Democrat who finds Trump horrifying. from the #Pizzagate conspiracy theory that leading Democrats, The show’s instant popularity holds a lesson for TV producers, including Hillary Clinton, are running a global pedophile ring. said The Washington Times in an editorial. Rather than cater solely to coastal elites, maybe they might make a few shows for “the deplorables” in “flyover country”—working-class people who Lots of other actors say “nutty things,” said Gary Abernathy in The Washington Post. Look: Roseanne may be a Trump supelected a president that “Hollywood doesn’t approve of.” porter, but the show is not highly partisan and does “a good job representing various points of view,” including her liberal sister’s. Naturally, our “notoriously ratings-obsessed president” took For the show to reach its potential, it should seek to do what All Roseanne’s success as a personal triumph, said Will Bunch in in the Family did in the early 1970s. Archie Bunker, the bigoted Philly.com. Trump called Barr to congratulate her and later bragged to a rally that the show “is about us.” But is it really? The Richard Nixon supporter, and his liberal son-in-law, Mike, start out hating each other, but over time, they both evolve, become Conners now have a black granddaughter and a “gender-fluid” less extreme, and “eventually understand and respect each other.” grandson, both of whom they treat with love and compassion. If If the new Roseanne is skillfully written, sometimes “Roseanne’s the goal is to give an honest portrayal of “Trump’s America,” the point of view will make Jackie stop and think, and Jackie’s Conners should have Fox News blaring all day long and spend opinions will occasionally give Roseanne cause for reflection.” each episode spewing venom about illegal immigrants, Muslims, Wouldn’t that be a refreshing change? ungrateful blacks, and transgender soldiers. By filtering out the QA federal judge has ruled that Carl and Janice Duffner of St. Peters, Mo., must obey a city ordinance and plant grass in their front yard, even though Mrs. Duffner has a severe grass allergy. The couple’s lawyer, David Roland, calls the ruling “outrageous,” saying his clients face fines and a jail term “for what they’ve chosen not to plant on their personal property.” QThe founder of Liberty Counsel, a conservative legal group, is calling for a boycott of Girl Scout cookies, claiming Girl Scouts USA “promotes abortion and sexual promiscuity.” Liberty founder Mat Staver argues that Girl Scouts affiliates once attended a U.N. conference on women, and that the group once shared on its Facebook page an image of a girl participating in the “vulgar and profanity-laden” 2017 Women’s March. THE WEEK April 13, 2018 Good week for: Ten-mile runs, after the Army said it may extend Basic Training by two weeks, to cope with an influx of flabby, unfit recruits. Officials said the recruits were so out of shape and undisciplined that trainers and dieticians might be posted to active units abroad. Lou Dobbs, with the news that President Trump is so enamored of the firebrand populist Fox Business cable star that he patches him through on speakerphone to meetings of Cabinet members and senior aides. Trump “cherishes Lou,” said a White House official. Manual transmission, after two Florida boys, ages 12 and 14, tried to steal a Domino’s truck while the driver was delivering a pizza, only to be foiled by their lack of stick-shift experience. “When they go back to get the first gear, they cannot drive,” recounted driver Javier Ortez. Bad week for: Parrish, Ala., where a trainload of 10 million pounds of sewage sludge from New York City has been stalled for the past six weeks as a legal battle rages over where it will wind up, filling the town with an overpowering stench. “We didn’t produce it,” said Mayor Heather Hall. “We don’t want it here.” Diversity, with the release of the official Spring 2018 White House intern photograph. Of the 91 interns posing with a beaming President Trump, only three appear to be nonwhite. Kellyanne Conway, after author Ronald Kessler claimed the senior aide is the “No. 1 leaker” in the White House. In one recent interview for his pro-Trump book, Kessler said, Conway forgot she was on the record and “lit into” Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump. Boring but important Obama-era fuel standards reversed The Environmental Protection Agency moved this week to roll back strict emissions standards for automakers that were put in place during the Obama administration. The regulations required new cars and trucks sold in the U.S. to average more than 50 miles per gallon by 2025 in order to reduce the industry’s carbon footprint. “Those standards are inappropriate and should be revised,” EPA director Scott Pruitt said in his announcement, describing the existing requirements as too draconian. Pruitt did not say what the new standards might eventually be. The U.S. auto fleet for model year 2017 averaged 31.8 miles per gallon. The 38-page document explaining the EPA’s rationale for rewriting the existing rules does not mention “climate change.” ABC/Robert Trachtenberg Only in America The U.S. at a glance ... Newscom, AP (3) Mendocino County, Calif. SUV crash: An entire family of eight was feared dead this week after their SUV plunged off a cliff along the Pacific Coast Highway, a crash that officials believe may have been intentional. The bodies of mothers Jennifer and Sarah Hart, both 38, and at least The Hart family three of their six adopted children were recovered on the rocks below. The couple’s other three children remain unaccounted for. One of the missing children, Devonte, a 15-year-old African-American, attracted global attention in 2014 when he was photographed sobbing in the arms of a white police officer during a protest in Portland, Ore., against the police shooting of Michael Brown. Investigators say the Harts’ SUV appeared to have stopped on a dirt pullout before it accelerated and fell over the cliff. There were no signs of skid marks, suggesting that the driver didn’t lose control. Authorities in Washington state, where the Harts lived, had unsuccessfully tried to contact the family in March after receiving a report of child abuse. San Bruno, Calif. YouTube shooting: A woman who apparently held a grudge against YouTube opened fire with a handgun at the company’s headquarters this week, wounding three people before shooting and killing herself. Nasim Najafi Aghdam, a 39-yearold from San Diego, Aghdam regularly published videos on the site about a wide range of topics, including fitness, veganism, and animal cruelty. She also posted long diatribes against the Google-owned company, accusing it of discriminating against her videos to keep them from getting more views. Family members said she’d been living off the ad revenues generated by her videos and had been angry in recent weeks that she had stopped receiving payments as a result of YouTube’s February decision to demonetize smaller channels. Aghdam did not appear to have known any of her victims. Her father, who reported her missing before the shooting, had warned police that she might go to YouTube because she “hated” it. NEWS 7 Washington, D.C. starting with a report on Trump a ‘subject’: Special Trump’s actions in office counsel Robert Mueller and possible obstruction of has told President Trump’s justice, potentially as early lawyers that the president as June, and then moving on continues to be a “subject” to Russian interference. of his investigation, but that Mueller’s probe also he is not a criminal “target” secured its first sentencing at this time, The Washington Van der Zwaan outside court this week, as a Dutch lawyer Post reported this week. was ordered by a federal Prosecutors view someone as a subject judge to spend 30 days in jail and pay a when they are investigating the person’s $20,000 fine for lying to the FBI. Alex van conduct but lack sufficient evidence to der Zwaan, 33, pleaded guilty to misleadbring charges. Mueller’s team made the ing investigators over his contacts in 2016 disclosure to Trump’s attorneys last month, with a business associate of former Trump during ongoing negotiations over a poscampaign chairman Paul Manafort and sible presidential interview. Some of the his deputy, Rick Gates. Manafort, who president’s advisers are reportedly conis facing charges of conspiracy, money cerned that the special prosecutor could be laundering, and bank fraud relating to trying to bait Trump into agreeing to sit his lobbying work in Ukraine, is seekfor a legally perilous interview, noting that ing to have his charges dismissed on the subjects of investigations can easily become basis that Mueller’s probe is exceeding targets. Mueller reportedly also suggested its legal authority. But in response to the that he would release his findings in stages, legal challenge, Mueller revealed this week that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein explicitly authorized him last August to investigate whether Manafort colluded with Russia during the presidential campaign. Orlando Pulse widow acquitted: In a rare defeat for federal terrorism prosecutors, the widow of the Pulse nightclub shooter was acquitted last week of aiding and abetting her husband’s ISIS-inspired attack in 2016, and of obstructing the FBI’s investigation. Jurors found Noor Salman, 31, not guilty on all charges over her alleged involvement in Omar Mateen’s rampage at the Orlando club, which left 49 people dead and 53 injured. Prosecutors had argued that Salman actively helped Mateen plan the atrocity and that she confessed when she wrote in an FBI interview that she wished she could “go back and tell his family and the police what he was going to do.” Defense attorneys successfully countered that the evidence linking Salman to the attack was circumstantial and that investigators had misread her “confession.” The jury foreman said after the verdict that jurors were “convinced” Salman knew her husband was considering an attack, but couldn’t find her guilty of aiding and abetting this shooting. Washington, D.C. EPA scandals: Scott Pruitt, the head of the Environmental Protection Agency, faced mounting ethics questions this week, amid reports that he bypassed the White Pruitt: ‘Sweetheart’ deal? House to give political appointees substantial raises and took advantage of a discount condo rental provided by a lobbyist’s wife. Pruitt, who was already facing scrutiny for his frequent first-class air travel, reportedly used an obscure provision of the Safe Drinking Water Act to grant pay hikes of $28,130 and $56,765 to two of his closest aides, after the White House denied the request. One of the beneficiaries is a 26-year-old staffer who oversaw Pruitt’s personal housing hunt last year during her official work hours, in violation of federal rules. ABC News reported that Pruitt has been paying just $50 a night to stay in a Capitol Hill condo owned by a woman whose energy-lobbyist husband has extensive business before the EPA, including a proposed natural gas pipeline approved last year. Trump appears to be standing by Pruitt, telling reporters “I hope he’s going to be great.” THE WEEK April 13, 2018 8 NEWS The world at a glance ... Paris Anti-Macron strikes: The French commute could be in chaos for the next three months. State railway workers launched a massive series of strikes this week against the labor reforms of President Emmanuel Macron. Employees with state rail giant SNCF, including train drivers, will walk off SNCF workers rally against reform. the job two days out of every five for the next 90 days. Only one in eight high-speed trains will run during the strike, and only one in five regional trains. Buses are packed, and car traffic has soared. Macron has proposed phasing out job-for-life guarantees and other benefits for new hires at state rail firms. It’s the second big test of Macron’s reforms: Last fall, strikes failed to prevent the passage of laws that made it easier for companies to hire and fire employees. London More dangerous than NYC? London’s murder rate has overtaken that of New York City for the first time since records began in 1800, largely because of a spike in knife attacks in the British capital. There were 22 murders in London in March and 15 in February, one more than New York for each month; 31 of the London killings were committed with knives. Both cities have similar populations of about Site of a stabbing 8.5 million people. But while New York’s murder rate has dropped by nearly 90 percent since the 1990s, London’s has increased by about 40 percent in only three years. Experts blamed the surge on a rise in gang violence and cuts to police funding by the ruling Conservative Party. Vatican Yes, there is a hell: The Vatican this week denied that Pope Francis had told a prominent Italian reporter that “There is no hell” and “Souls are not punished.” La Repubblica published a front-page story last week in which Eugenio Scalfari—a 93-year-old left-wing, anticlerical journalist who prides himself on not taking notes or recording interviews—claimed the pope made those surprising comments during a recent meeting. The Vatican said they were not “a faithful transcription of the Holy Father’s words.” Catholic Church doctrine affirms the existence of hell, where the souls of sinners suffer “eternal fire.” Scalfari, a longtime friend of the pope, has previously reported that Francis wants to allow divorced Catholics to receive communion, which the Vatican also later denied. San José, Costa Rica Liberals prevail: A center-left former cabinet minister and novelist won Costa Rica’s presidential runoff this week, roundly defeating a conservative evangelical pastor who shot to prominence by campaigning against same-sex marriage. Carlos Alvarado Quesada of the ruling Citizen Action Party took 61 percent of the vote, while the National Restoration Party’s Fabricio Alvarado Muñoz took 39 percent. Alvarado Muñoz had pledged to oppose attempts to legalize same-sex marriage if elected, and said he would tighten Costa Rica’s already strict abortion laws. Alvarado Quesada, 38, who supports marriage equality, said his election victory sent a “beautiful” message to the world. “My commitment is to a government for everybody,” he said, “in Alvarado Quesada: Winner equality and liberty.” THE WEEK April 13, 2018 La Paz, Bolivia Ex-president convicted: Indigenous activists in Bolivia celebrated this week after the conviction in the U.S. of former Protesting Sánchez de Lozada Bolivian President Gonzalo Sánchez de Lozada and former Defense Minister Carlos Sánchez Berzain. A federal court in Florida found the two guilty of directing the so-called October Massacre, when the Bolivian military killed at least 64 indigenous peasants and wounded some 400 more during widespread antigovernment protests in 2003. It’s the first time a former head of state has been held legally responsible in the U.S. for human rights violations under the Torture Victim Protection Act, which allows human rights abuses abroad to be prosecuted in U.S. courts. The two must pay $10 million in damages to the families of the victims. Newscom (2), AP, Getty, Reuters Ciudad Juárez, Mexico Populist against Trump: Campaigning for Mexico’s July 1 presidential election officially began last week, and the front-runner kicked off his campaign with a rant against President Trump. “Mexico won’t be any foreign government’s piñata,” said left-leaning populist Andrés Manuel López Obrador, known in Mexico as AMLO, at López Obrador a rally in the border town of Ciudad Juárez. “No threat, no wall, no arrogant attitude from any foreign government will prevent us from working and being happy in our homeland.” López Obrador, 64, has been running on an anticorruption platform for decades and finally has a chance to win; he came in a close second in 2006 and 2012. The world at a glance ... Ankara Strongmen unite: Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan praised his country’s deepening ties with Russia this week during a visit from Russian President Vladimir Putin. The two leaders launched the construction of Turkey’s first nuclear power plant, which Russia’s state-owned Rosatom is building at a cost of $20 bilPutin and Erdogan lion. And they said Turkey’s purchase of a Russian missile-defense system—which has drawn concern from Turkey’s NATO allies—would be speeded up. The two also met with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani in Ankara this week to discuss the war in neighboring Syria. Moscow and Tehran have backed Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad, while Turkey has supported rebel forces fighting his regime. NEWS 9 Mingora, Pakistan Malala returns: Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai returned to her hometown in Pakistan last week for the first time since 2012, when the Taliban shot the then-15-year-old schoolgirl in the head for advocating girls’ education. She and her family traveled with heavy security for the unannounced, Home after six years away four-day visit to the Swat Valley. “It is still like a dream for me,” said Yousafzai, now 20 and studying at Oxford University. “Am I among you?” Yousafzai has lived in the U.K. since she was attacked. Many Pakistanis admire her, but many others believe her to be part of a Western conspiracy to make the country look bad. One official in Swat said last year that the shooting was staged. Manbij, Syria U.S. troops to leave? The future of America’s military campaign in Syria was uncertain this week after President Trump said he wanted to quickly withdraw the 2,000 U.S. troops now in the country, only for the White House to say a day later that the U.S. was committed to continuing the fight against ISIS there. “I want to bring our troops back home,” Trump said during a news conference. “It’s time. We were very successful against ISIS.” His announcement apparently took military leaders by surprise: Defense Secretary Jim Mattis has said repeatedly over the past few months that troops would remain indefinitely. A U.S. and a British soldier were killed last week and five others wounded in a bomb blast in northwestern Syria during a mission to kill or capture an ISIS commander. The American, Master Sgt. Jonathan J. Dunbar, was part of the Army’s elite counterterrorism Delta force. Reuters, Getty, Reuters, Newscom Jerusalem No deal on migrants: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu this week canceled an agreement with the United Nations to resettle thousands of African migrants in Western nations, just a day after making the deal. The agreement would have seen some 16,000 of the 38,000 mostly Sudanese and Eritrean migrants and asylum seekers in Israel settled in countries including Germany and Canada, and the same number would have been given residency status in Israel. That outraged hard-line members of Netanyahu’s ruling coalition, who saw the deal as rewarding illegal immigrants, and Netanyahu backtracked. He said he would now consider other options “to remove the infiltrators.” Johannesburg State funeral for Winnie: South Africa held a state funeral this week for Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, the 81-year-old former wife of Nelson Mandela and a leading figure in the fight against apartheid. She was thrust into the spotlight in 1964 when her husband of six years was sentenced to life in prison for sabotage. She continued the struggle and rallied blacks against white-minority rule during Mandela’s 27-year detention, and was arrested herself in 1969. She was held for 18 months—16 in solitary confinement—and was tortured. Madikizela-Mandela could be brutal toward those suspected of betraying the movement. She advocated “necklacing”— putting a flaming tire around informants’ chests and arms—and she was convicted of kidnapping after her bodyguards tortured and killed a 14-year-old boy falsely accused of snitching. Mandela filed for divorce in 1996, saying she Liberation icon had become cold and was unfaithful. Cairo El-Sissi wins sham election: Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah elSissi won re-election this week with an implausible 97 percent in a vote that international observers said was neither free nor fair. El-Sissi, a former general who took power in a 2013 coup and was elected president a year later, faced only a token opponent after all credible challengers were pushed out of the race. He has governed much like former strongman president Hosni Mubarak—who was ousted during the 2011 Arab Spring uprising—banning critical media and jailing or disappearing political opponents. President Trump congratulated el-Sissi on his victory in a phone call and “affirmed the strategic partnership” between the two countries, said the White House. Egypt is a key ally of the U.S. and receives some $1.6 billion in American military and economic El-Sissi supporters in Cairo aid each year. THE WEEK April 13, 2018 10 NEWS People Diller’s Hollywood nostalgia Barry Diller thinks Hollywood is becoming irrelevant, said Maureen Dowd in The New York Times. The former boss of Paramount and Fox Broadcasting Co. says movie studios are losing the creative and financial battle to online streaming giants making original content. Netflix simply “cannot be outbid,” he says. “No one can compete with them.” Diller, 76, is disdainful of this year’s Academy Award nominated films—“Essentially, no one went to see them”—and sees today’s studio executives as poor imitations of their colorful predecessors in the 1950s and ’60s. The old studio heads “were real characters—overblown, exuberant, nasty, but in their own way they were genuinely interesting people,” he says. “These people operated completely out of instinct. As against today, when people operate out of research and marketing.” One studio head he did not admire, however, was Harvey Weinstein. After Weinstein berated one of Diller’s female executives at Universal, Diller says, he confronted the bully on a hotel terrace and told him never to do it again. “Harvey, about 6 feet away, said, ‘I’m going to throw you off the terrace.’ And this gorilla, because he looks like a gorilla, starts walking toward me. And truly, I was scared.” Diller pulled himself into a menacing stance, consciously imitating an enraged bear. “It so surprised him that he stopped and I got out with a small amount of honor.” The man who sells jets to billionaires Haddish’s hellish upbringing If you want to buy a private jet, Steve Varsano is your man, said Ben Machell in The Times (U.K.). Over his 40-year career, the New Jersey native has sold more than 300 luxury planes, worth $4 billion in total. And unlike other aircraft brokers, his firm has a showroom: a big space in London’s swanky Mayfair district, containing a fully furnished Airbus A319 cabin. “We want people to walk in,” he says. “That’s why we’re here.” Varsano, 61, fell in love with flying on his first flight, at age 14. He secured a job at a plane broker in his early 20s, but initially had to wait tables to make ends meet. “At 4 p.m. I’m trying to sell an airplane for $3 million, then at 7 p.m. somebody’s yelling at me because I didn’t refill his coffee cup.” His customers today are much younger than they were when he started out, thanks to Silicon Valley. Many of them, he says, are surprisingly blasé about their purchase. Varsano insists private jets aren’t a waste of money for those who can afford it. “If you’re waiting for someone to arrive in a jet, you’re thinking, ‘Wow, this person must be really successful,’” he says. “People like to do business with successful people.” Tiffany Haddish survived an extremely traumatic childhood, said Caity Weaver in GQ. The breakout star of last year’s hit comedy Girls Trip essentially grew up without parents. Her father left when she was 3, and when she was 8, her mother suffered a serious brain injury in a car accident, leaving her with a volatile and abusive personality. “I swore she had a demon in her,” says Haddish, 38. “It’s so scary.” Five years later, Haddish and her siblings were placed in foster care. She spent about two years shuttling among group homes and foster families, before moving in with her grandmother. When aid to her grandmother was cut off, Haddish left, and in the following years she found herself homeless three times and sleeping in her car. “I think that was God teaching me a lesson over and over,” she says. “I wasn’t paying attention the first two times.” Now financially secure, Haddish spends most of her money on her brain-damaged mother and her grandmother, who has Alzheimer’s. Providing housing and care for them was always one of her goals in pursuing an acting career. “Everything I said I wanted to do,” she says, “I’m literally doing.” says that Prince Harry’s betrothed is much more calculating than the starryeyed, soon-to-be princess of the public imagination. In Meghan: A Hollywood Princess, famed royal biographer Andrew Morton depicts the 36-year-old American actress as a relentless social climber, unafraid to discard longtime relationships that were no longer useful in advancing her ambitions. “A networker to her fingertips, she seemed to be recalibrating her life, forging new friendships with those who could develop her career,” writes Morton. When Markle’s acting career began to take off, Morton THE WEEK April 13, 2018 QEthan Crouch, the infamous “affluenza teen” who killed four people while driving drunk in 2013, has been released from prison after serving just two years. Crouch, now 20, gained worldwide infamy when his legal team argued that the young man’s privileged background gave him “affluenza,” making him incapable of distinguishing right from wrong. Crouch was initially sentenced to rehab and probation for driving a pickup truck into a group of people helping a stranded motorist outside Fort Worth. When video surfaced of him playing beer pong, he fled to Mexico with his mother. U.S. marshals later brought him back to the U.S. QReviewers are mocking Sean Penn’s debut novel, calling its prose nonsensical, its plot outlandish, and its politics disturbing. Bob Honey Who Just Do Stuff is a political satire about a septic worker turned assassin who kills retirees with a mallet to offset their carbon footprint. Referring to a Trump-like fictional president, Penn writes that America is a “nation in need of an assassin” and calls #MeToo a “toddler’s crusade.” Penn should “never quit his day job” writes Mark Athitakis in The Washington Post, while Huffington Post’s Claire Fallon calls the book “a 160page self-own.” Penn has fired back at critics, saying, “I’m 57, my pool’s heated—you can say anything you like.” Newscom (3) QA new biography of Meghan Markle says, she abruptly dumped her first husband, film producer Trevor Engelson, mailing back her wedding ring. Morton also writes that the young Markle was obsessed with Princess Diana. “She was always fascinated by the royal family,” a childhood friend says in the book. “She wants to be Princess Diana 2.0.” Briefing NEWS 11 The long shadow of the financial crisis It’s been 10 years since the global economy nearly collapsed. Could it happen again? ions to protect against future crises, with regular “stress tests” to assess The bursting of the U.S. housing bubble their ability to withstand a severe ecotriggered a chain reaction that nearly nomic downturn. In 2017, the Federal brought down the global financial sysReserve judged that all 34 of the finantem. Between 1997 and 2006, a comcial institutions deemed “systemically bination of low interest rates, relaxed important” by Dodd-Frank would be lending regulations, and government able to keep lending in a crisis similar policies designed to encourage home buyto 2008’s. Dodd-Frank also put greater ing fueled a housing boom that saw the restrictions on trading derivatives such average price for a U.S. home increase by as credit default swaps, which were vir124 percent. Amid the speculative frenzy, tually unregulated before the crisis. But financial institutions issued hundreds of not everyone is satisfied. “This is not an billions of dollars in questionable loans industry that has examined itself and to so-called subprime borrowers with remade itself in the wake of the crisis,” poor credit histories. Borrowers’ abilBush at a crisis Cabinet meeting in 2008 says Phil Angelides, who chaired the ity to repay didn’t matter to lenders, U.S. government’s official investigation into the causes of the crisis. because they were able to get subprime mortgages off their books by repackaging them into wildly complex derivative financial instruments like mortgage-backed securities and collateralized debt What hasn’t changed? obligations. Corporate and institutional investors gobbled up these Bank consolidation, for one. More than 20 of the 30 banks that offerings, which not only offered attractive returns but also received are still considered “too big to fail” are significantly larger than they were 10 years ago, including JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo, high safety ratings from the major credit-rating agencies. In 2007 and Bank of America. The Senate recently passed a bipartisan bill and 2008, the inevitable wave of foreclosures finally arrived— rolling back parts of Dodd-Frank that lawmakers believe unfairly exposing the entire financial system to catastrophic losses. burden smaller banks, although some critics say larger banks could exploit loopholes in the proposed rules. Meanwhile, Wall Then what happened? Street hasn’t lost its appetite for risk. In 2012, a single trader at The worst financial panic since the Great Depression. Already JPMorgan nicknamed the “London Whale” created $6.2 billion dangerously over-leveraged from years of risky bets, banks were in losses through enormously risky bets involving credit default unable to absorb the huge losses. The first big domino to fall swaps. New breeds of exotic financial products have also emerged, was the investment bank Bear Stearns, which collapsed in March including exchange-traded funds that allow investors to bet on 2008. Later, Lehman Brothers filed for the largest bankruptcy in everything from cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin to market volatility. U.S. history, and the government bailed out insurance giant AIG, which had sold enormous amounts of credit default swaps insurIs another crisis possible? ing the bad investments. As panic spread, lending and investment The same kind of collapse isn’t likely; banks are no longer saddled screeched to a halt, and the country was plunged into the worst with a massive amount of subprime housing debt. But if a differfinancial crisis since the stock market collapse of 1929. ent kind of debt crisis does emerge, the lingering damage from the last crisis has left the government ill prepared to confront it. The How did the government respond? Federal Reserve has only begun to raise interest rates again after The U.S. government took extraordinary measures to prevent a cutting them to near zero during the full-scale economic collapse. Under recession. It could be years before President George W. Bush, Congress The recession’s lingering scars they return to precrisis levels, leavapproved a $700 billion bailout purThe economy appears to be booming again, with ing the central bank with few tools chasing toxic assets to restore confiunemployment hovering just above 4 percent and to stimulate the economy in another dence in the market; under President corporate profits at record highs. But the recovery crisis. Congress and the president Barack Obama, it authorized a hasn’t been distributed evenly. The government’s would also be hard-pressed to $787 billion stimulus package to rush to prop up failing markets primarily benefited wealthy Americans, who own most of the country’s respond: Although the Wall Street stimulate spending in the private secstocks and other assets, while many workers who bailouts eventually were paid back, tor. But massive damage had already lost homes and jobs in the crisis saw their income they were so politically toxic that been done. The economy slipped take a permanent hit. More than a million workit’s hard to imagine another round into a deep recession. The Dow ers were knocked out of the labor force altogether of them. “The biggest regret I’ve Jones industrial average and the S&P and still haven’t returned. The top 10 percent of got is that life is going to be much 500 lost more than half their value. Americans have seen their share of the country’s more difficult for any regulator Unemployment peaked at roughly wealth increase from 71 percent before the crisis sitting in the seats facing another 10 percent by October 2009. to 77 percent today, while the bottom 90 percent crisis, because what we did was so suffered a corresponding decrease. The median unpopular,” said Hank Paulson, Is the system safer now? lower-income household now has just $10,800 in who was secretary of the Treasury In many ways, yes. Obama signed a assets—down almost $8,000. “The average effects under George W. Bush. “I stand series of sweeping financial reforms [of a recession] are severe and very long-lasting,” guilty of not being able to explain known as the Dodd-Frank Act. says Jennie Brand, a sociologist at the University of why the financial system was good Among other things, it required California, Los Angeles. “There’s no quick recovery.” for Americans.” banks to carry bigger capital cush- Newscom What caused the crisis? THE WEEK April 13, 2018 Sinclair’s state propaganda Erik Wemple WashingtonPost.com Why cops kill unarmed suspects David French NationalReview.com How to raise confident children Lenore Skenazy New York Post Viewpoint Best columns: The U.S. Sinclair Broadcasting wants its 173 local TV stations “to parrot its conservative, pro-Trump view,” said Erik Wemple. To guarantee partisan uniformity, Sinclair—run by a family of wealthy Republican donors— regularly issues dictates to the stations, including a script it recently demanded that local anchors read on the air. Ironically, the script decries “the troubling trend of irresponsible, one-sided news stories” and “fake stories,” and claims that other media try to “control exactly what people think.” The website Deadspin this week put together a chilling video of dozens of anchors robotically reading the same words, as if reciting state propaganda. Sinclair also mandates that stations run “political analysis” from former Trump adviser Boris Epshteyn, who echoes White House talking points. Naturally, President Trump tweeted his endorsement of Sinclair, saying it “is far superior to CNN” and other “Fake News Networks.” Not incidentally, Sinclair is currently seeking federal approval to buy most of Tribune Media’s 42 TV stations, which would give the company more than 200 stations and access to 72 percent of U.S. households. Would Sinclair’s unabashed support of the president perhaps influence his administration’s decision? To even ask that question, of course, is to be guilty of “fake news.” While “deeply disturbing,” the Sacramento police killing of Stephon Clark was not a crime, said David French. But “was the shooting proper? Is this how we want to train police to respond?” Clearly not. Police fired a fusillade of 20 shots at Clark in his grandparents’ backyard after responding to reports he broke car windows. Police said they thought that the confused and frightened Clark was holding a gun; it turned out to be an iPhone. Yes, routine arrests “can and do escalate.” But the two officers had other options than to shoot. They could have stayed behind cover and issued “strong verbal commands” to Clark rather than jump out and start firing when he didn’t quickly respond. Their approach—and that of too many police departments—was akin to the “immediate escalation and engagement you’d find in a war zone.” In Iraq, my fellow soldiers and I were trained to exercise more restraint than the Sacramento cops while on patrol, so that we didn’t kill civilians instead of terrorists. Cops, by contrast, are trained to believe every suspect is a potential killer and to shoot to kill whenever they feel threatened. “It’s time to change the rules.” We shouldn’t have to clarify that it’s legal to let kids play without adult supervision, said Lenore Skenazy. But Utah just became the first state in the nation to pass a “free-range parenting” law, which says parents can’t be arrested for letting well-cared-for children go to the park by themselves, bike to school, or briefly stay at home alone. It seems crazy, but such arrests have occurred with increasing frequency. These days, people believe that unsupervised kids “are automatically in danger”— even though the crime rate is much lower now than when today’s adults were growing up. One explanation is a 24/7 news media that thrives on fear and bad news, making rare tragedies seem commonplace. But the biggest factor is “the illusion of control” parents have gotten from technology. Before smartphones, parents accepted that when kids went out the door, they were on their own and out of touch. Now, anytime you aren’t monitoring their every move, “you are making a conscious decision to opt out of your role as omniscient protector.” That creates fear and guilt. To make your children safe, make them “street smart”: Teach them how to cross the road safely and how to respond to creepy strangers. A child can’t grow up inside a cocoon. “Trump feels as though he now ‘gets’ what being president entails. He is no longer cowed or wowed by the office. Instead, he feels entirely comfortable steering the ship of state with little to no input from advisers—especially those who don’t agree with him. We are now getting the live feed of Trump at all times—not the edited version. You can like that reality. You can hate that reality. You can be encouraged by that reality. You can be anxious with that reality. But it doesn’t change the fact that it is now our collective reality.” Chris Cillizza in CNN.com THE WEEK April 13, 2018 It must be true... I read it in the tabloids QA Florida woman who thought she’d been sickened by a bad batch of General Tso’s chicken discovered the true cause of her stomach troubles when she gave birth to a healthy baby boy. Crystal Gail Amerson, 29, had no idea she was 37 weeks pregnant when she woke early one morning with excruciating gut pain and rushed to the bathroom. Amerson initially blamed her previous night’s Chinese dinner, but three hours later delivered her second son in the back of an ambulance. Amerson says she probably won’t order General Tso’s for a while. “I think I’m traumatized from Chinese food.” QAn Australian veterinarian had to perform emergency surgery on a wild carpet python after it snuck into a home and swallowed a senior citizen’s slipper. The serpent was taken to vet Josh Llinas after a man noticed he was one slipper short and then found the 7-foot-long snake outside his house with a bulge in its belly. An X-ray revealed the footwear in the python’s gut; it was removed in an hour-long operation. Llinas says he’s previously cut a pillowcase and a tennis ball out of snakes. “You name it,” he says, “they will eat it.” QA Canadian chef who was fed up with vegans protesting outside his restaurant staged a carnivorous counterprotest by cutting up a deer leg in the eatery’s front window as the horrified non–meat eaters looked on. Demonstrators had repeatedly targeted Michael Hunter’s Antler restaurant, waving signs reading “MURDER.” Hunter hit back by showcasing his butchery skills and then eating a venison steak in full view of the protesters. The vegans were disgusted. “That was an individual,” one vegan said of the deer turned dinner. “She may have had a partner.” HerpVet/Facebook 12 NEWS Charleston SOUTH CAROLINA Beaufort Hilton Head Island Savannah GEORGIA St. Simons Island Jekyll Island Cumberland Island Amelia Island Jacksonville FLORIDA MISSISSIPPI RIVER SOUTHEAST NEW ENGLAND ALASKA PACIFIC NORTHWEST THE HISTORIC SOUTH SMOOTH WATER, SOUTHERN CHARM Cruising the Historic South & Golden Isles with American Cruise Lines is an exploration of southern grace and natural beauty. From Charleston to Amelia Island, explore antebellum homes, grand southern plantations, and historic cities, while you delight in the comfort of our new small ships. Small Ship Cruising Done Perfectly.® LARGEST STATEROOMS 8-DAY ITINERARY NEWEST FLEET Call today for a FREE Cruise Guide 1-800-460-4591 AmericanCruiseLines.com American Cruise Line Best River Cruise Line for Solo Travelers 14 NEWS ITALY The eggplant that gummed up the courts Gian Antonio Stella Corriere della Sera FRANCE Sarkozy’s dealings with a dictator Ann-Dorit Boy Neue Zürcher Zeitung (Switzerland) Best columns: Europe Italy’s legal system is creaking at the seams, said Gian Antonio Stella, largely because our courts are clogged with absurdly trivial cases. In the southern region of Puglia, for example, a man has just been acquitted for stealing a single eggplant from a field—after a nine-year legal battle that cost taxpayers about $9,000. Police caught the jobless suspect leaving the field with the offending vegetable in a bucket in 2009. He claimed he’d only taken it to feed his starving family, and the farmer didn’t press charges. Yet he was still prosecuted, sentenced to five months in jail and fined about $600—penalties that were reduced on appeal. His lawyer, incensed at the unfairness of it all, lodged the case at the supreme court in Rome, where it languished for years, until the justices finally threw it out. The court has accumulated a backlog of more than 100,000 of such crazy cases. Most are domestic spats, like the man who sued his daughter-in-law for serving him shop-bought rather than homemade pasta, or disputes between neighbors over such petty things as wet laundry dripping onto the balcony below. No one wants arbitrary limits on court time. But is it really so hard to distinguish between important cases of principle and those that just waste time and money? Something dark in Nicolas Sarkozy’s past may finally have caught up with him, said Ann-Dorit Boy. For years, rumors swirled that the former French president illegally accepted $62 million for his 2007 election campaign from then Libyan dictator Muammar al-Qaddafi. Qaddafi is said to have confirmed the handout months before his 2011 death, and references to payments were found in a notebook belonging to Libyan oil minister Shukri Ghanem, whose body was discovered in the Danube River in Vienna in 2012. Then two years ago, a French-Lebanese businessman told French reporters that he’d carried suitcases full of cash from Tripoli to Paris. Investigators kept digging, and new leads must have emerged, because Sarkozy was recently taken into custody for police grilling. Sarkozy—who is facing corruption, influence peddling, and illegal campaign-financing charges in unrelated cases— denies any wrongdoing. But if the allegations are true, they may explain why Sarkozy behaved with such “embarrassing obsequiousness” to Qaddafi, rolling out the red carpet on his state visit to Paris, and why, conversely, in 2011 he campaigned so hard for military intervention in Libya, hoping perhaps to erase that memory. Could Ghanem’s death, once thought an assassination, also be connected? If this affair continues to develop, it could leave France’s previous corruption scandals in the shade. Europe: Have immigrants rekindled anti-Semitism? AP vanished, but we are now also facing a French Jews are under assault, said “new anti-Semitism, fueled by the obLe Monde (France) in an editorial. The sessions of Muslim fundamentalists and brutal killing last week of 85-year-old tied to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.” Holocaust survivor Mireille Knoll, stabbed 11 times in her Paris home by a Both types of this ancient hatred are Muslim neighbor and his friend, was not surging in Germany, said Sina Arnold an isolated incident. At least 11 French in Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung Jews have been murdered in anti-Semitic (Germany). The Right talks about attacks over the past 12 years, including “imported anti-Semitism,” blaming three children and a rabbi who were shot Muslims and ignoring the fact that dead by an Islamist extremist at a Jewish most anti-Semitic hate crimes here are school in Toulouse in 2012, and 65-yearcommitted by neo-Nazis. At the same old Sarah Halimi, who was beaten to time, the Left “relativizes hatred” by death and thrown from her balcony last Marching in memory of murder victim Knoll. claiming Muslim migrants are just enyear by a Franco-Malian man shouting gaging in political speech when they burn Israeli flags in German “Allahu akbar!” France has also seen a resurgence of “ordinary streets. Our government, meanwhile, is failing in its historic misanti-Semitism”: hateful insults hurled in the street, threatening sion to educate all Europeans about the horrors that such hatred graffiti painted on Jewish stores, the bullying of Jewish children can cause. More than half of German 14- to 16-year-olds don’t in schools. It’s encouraging that thousands attended a march in know that Auschwitz-Birkenau was a Nazi death camp. That is honor of Knoll in Paris last week, but it’s not enough. French not the fault of migrants, and that’s why we can’t “deport our authorities must devote themselves to a “relentless struggle” way out” of our anti-Semitism problem. against anti-Semitism to “soothe the legitimate concern and anger of the Jewish community.” Anti-Semitism is a European constant, said Zoe Strimpel in The Daily Telegraph (U.K.). Sometimes it simmers under the surface; This is “humiliating and agonizing for the Republic,” said Laurent Joffrin in Libération (France). How can we live with the fact now it is blazing in the open. Since Jeremy Corbyn took over that 10 percent of French Jews—some 60,000 people—have emi- as leader of U.K.’s opposition Labor Party in 2015 and shifted the party from the center-left to the far left, “anti-Semites of the grated, mostly to Israel, in the past decade? Have we become a crudest cut have been crawling in their thousands out of the country people flee? While it is painful to point out, we must acknowledge that the common thread in all these attacks is that the British woodwork.” They may claim to be against Zionism, not Jews, but there’s no real difference. Israel was a refuge for Jews assailants have been either Muslim immigrants or their Frenchborn children. The traditional anti-Semitism of the far right hasn’t when Europe wasn’t. Will that be true again? THE WEEK April 13, 2018 Best columns: International NEWS 15 Israel: Deadly response to Gaza border protest dead Palestinians make Israel look “What is the cost of spilling the blood bad. The strategy works, said Gerald of defenseless civilians?” asked The Steinberg, also in the Post. Yes, at National (United Arab Emirates) in least 10 of the dead were known an editorial. “Nothing, if you are Isterrorists, but Israel’s image took a rael.” Some 30,000 Palestinian men, beating in the world’s press, which women, and children gathered in Gaza portrayed “Palestinians in their stanlast week to peacefully demand “the dard role as the innocent victims.” most basic human rights from one of the most ruthless colonial regimes in These protests are only going to history.” Most of the demonstrators intensify, said Gaza-based activstayed in a tent city several hundred ist Muhammad Shehada in Israel’s yards away from the border with IsYnetnews.com. Called the “Return rael, which has created a humanitarian March,” last week’s gathering was catastrophe through its 11-year blockA wounded protester is carried away from the border. just the start of six weeks of demade of Gaza. Medicine is scarce in the enclave “and there are crippling shortages of electricity and fuel.” onstrations leading up to the May 15 anniversary of the Nakba, or “catastrophe,” when more than 700,000 Palestinian Arabs During the protest, a few angry young Gazans hurled stones at fled or were expelled from their homes following Israel’s 1948 Israeli troops and burned tires along the border fence. Israeli declaration of independence. When we mark the Nakba this year, soldiers retaliated with tear gas, rubber bullets, and live ammunidesperate but peaceful protesters “will approach the fence, lift the tion, killing at least 18 people and wounding more than 1,000. It was “a completely disproportionate response in an occupied land gates, and walk into Israel” to reclaim their birthright. Nothing will deter them. “Not even death.” where they are the invaders.” Chilling video shows one young man fatally shot in the back as he ran away from the border. Hamas is largely to blame for Gazans’ misery, said Amos Harel That’s just what Hamas wanted, said The Jerusalem Post (Israel). in Ha’aretz (Israel). It spends tens of millions of dollars a year on its military wing, money that should be used to rebuild Gaza’s The Islamists who run Gaza can no longer hurt Israel with rockets, thanks to our Iron Dome missile defense system, so they have crumbling infrastructure and to provide jobs for the territory’s 2 million people. But as long as Israel refuses to ease its near-total a new tactic: swarm the border, hurling Molotov cocktails and blockade of the enclave, the anger and agony of ordinary Gazans planting explosives. During last week’s protest, “thousands of will continue to swell. “This abscess is bound to burst, whether in young Palestinian men, many of whom were known Hamas terrorists, attempted to rush the fence.” The goal was death, because a humanitarian disaster or another military clash.” KENYA Democracy undermined by dirty tricks Rasna Warah Daily Nation SOUTH KOREA The dangers of a graying nation Lee Jong-wha AP JoongAng Ilbo Did President Uhuru Kenyatta win the 2013 and 2017 Kenyan elections “by unethical means?” asked Ranah Warah. That is the conclusion we should draw from a British news program’s recent undercover sting against Cambridge Analytica, the political consultancy accused of using plundered Facebook data to help Donald Trump’s U.S. presidential campaign and of deploying dirty tricks to boost other candidates around the world. Cambridge executives were recorded telling an undercover journalist from the U.K.’s Channel 4 news how they ran “just about every element” of Kenyatta’s last two campaigns and how they used voters’ “deep-seated hopes and fears to manipulate them.” That strategy was certainly on show in ads the consultancy created for Kenyatta, which presented his opponent, Raila Odinga, as corrupt, violent, and dangerous. Those ads were likely targeted at voters based on their tribal identities—Kenyatta is a Kikuyu, Odinga a Luo—a grossly irresponsible act “in a country like Kenya, where ethnic tensions have led to violence and bloodshed.” More than 1,000 Kenyans were killed in clashes between supporters of rival candidates following the 2007 election, and the fear of similar violence grew so high around the 2017 vote that entire neighborhoods were deserted. Clearly, there is no line that Cambridge “will not cross to get its clients elected.” The most pressing threat facing South Korea today is not war with our northern neighbor, said Lee Jong-wha: It’s “demographics.” People talk of Japan as an “ultra-aged” society, but South Korea is going the same way fast and is not nearly as well prepared to deal with it. The country’s fertility rate—the number of babies a woman is expected to have in her lifetime—is now a mere 1.05 births per woman, one of the lowest in the world. When South Korean Baby Boomers hit retirement age in 2030, nearly one-third of the population will be age 65 or over, similar to Japan’s today. Already, we’re seeing a rapid decline in day care centers for children and a matching increase in the number of nursing homes for the elderly. It’s time to act to ameliorate the effects of this dangerous demographic shift. “Japan can offer guidance.” The nation introduced reforms to make workplaces both more family-friendly and more open to senior citizens. It assigned a minister the specific job of keeping the population above the 100 million mark. These efforts have paid off: Japan’s fertility rate has risen from 1.26 in 2005 to 1.44 last year. South Korea should follow suit without delay. “We can’t wait until it’s too late to respond to an aged society.” THE WEEK April 13, 2018 Noted QDonations to the National Rifle Association’s PAC spiked after 17 people were killed in the Valentine’s Day mass shooting in Parkland, Fla. The NRA’s political arm, the Political Victory Fund, raised roughly $779,000 in February compared with nearly $250,000 in January, according to Federal Election Committee filings. NationalReview.com QA taxpayer’s chances of being audited by the IRS have plunged due to budget cuts and staff reductions at the agency mandated by the Republican-controlled Congress. In the fiscal year ending Sept. 30, the IRS audited just 1 in 160 individual returns—down from 1 in 90 in 2011. Households making $1 million or more were scrutinized 4.37 percent of the time, down from 12.48 percent in 2011. New York Post QThe Russian ambassador to the U.S. is so frustrated by senior U.S. lawmakers and government officials refusing to meet him that he has sent a letter to Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) asking for help. Anatoly Antonov listed 20 top U.S. elected and administration officials that have refused or ignored his requests for meetings, including White House Chief of Staff John Kelly, Vice President Mike Pence, House Speaker Paul Ryan, and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi. Politico.com QJust 32 percent of employed adults report having more take-home pay because of the tax cuts, according to a CNBC poll. More than half say they see no change in their paychecks, and 16 percent are unsure. CNBC.com THE WEEK April 13, 2018 Talking points Parkland survivors: Conservatives hit back gun campaign, Hogg has The survivors of the Parkland, described the National Rifle Fla., school shooting “are Association as “child murderstill under attack,” said Lauers” and called Republicans rie Roberts in The Arizona who disagree with him Republic. Rather than engage “sick f---ers” with blood on with the young activists’ their hands. Throwing out “impassioned call” for tighter insults and smears is Hogg’s gun-control laws, conservaprerogative—but liberals tives panicked by their elocan’t complain when this quence have showered them Ingraham, Hogg: Fighting words “bully” receives a little back. with personal smears, vitriol, The media and gun-control activists are “using” and ad hominem attacks. Fox News host Laura Hogg as “their sword and their shield,” said David Ingraham last week mocked Parkland student French in NationalReview.com. They egg him David Hogg for being rejected by four colleges despite his 4.2 GPA. Hogg then called for advertis- on to say “vicious, cruel, and often false things” ers to boycott her show, and at least 19 companies about gun-rights advocates, and then claim conservatives who respond are “attacking the Parkland obliged—forcing the right-wing provocateur to apologize and take a week’s vacation. The attacks kids.” These teens are “powerful” only because on the Parkland kids began with far-right conspir- they’re doing the work of “powerful adults.” acy theorists, said Jeet Heer in NewRepublic.com, Actually, the Parkland teens are “winning the and then spread to mainstream conservatives. culture war,” said Benjamin Hart in NYMag.com. Some falsely claimed Hogg wasn’t even at school Their passion and organizing ability has “superduring the Valentine’s Day shooting, and that he and his fellow activists are actually actors hired by charged the gun-reform movement.” Polls show large majorities of Americans support their stated liberal adults. Emma González, another activist goals of universal background checks and banning Parkland survivor, was sneeringly described by a assault-style rifles and large-capacity magazines. Republican candidate for the Maine State House The “Gunshine State” of Florida has adopted as a “skinhead lesbian.” several new restrictions on firearms. Walmart and other stores are limiting their gun sales. As the say“When you choose to enter the public arena, no ing goes, when you’re “personally attacking the one is above criticism,” said Joseph Wulfsohn survivors of a school shooting, you’re losing.” in TheFederalist.com. In his simplistic anti- Census: A question of citizenship “How many people live in the United States of America?” That shouldn’t be a political question, said Jill Filipovic in CNN.com, but the Trump administration has turned the U.S. Census into a “political football.” Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross announced last week that the next countrywide population survey, in 2020, will ask respondents if they are U.S. citizens. This question hasn’t been on the census since 1950 for good reason: The Constitution requires a count of all residents; and a citizenship question will spook many illegal and legal immigrants into not taking part in the census, over fears ICE agents will come to drag them away. Those fears would create a “vast undercount” in immigrant-heavy areas. Since the census is used to determine how many House seats each state has, and how to allocate $675 billion in federal funding, those areas would suffer significantly. This is “just another way” for Trump to punish blue states and cities, said the Newark, N.J., Star-Ledger in an editorial. At least 17 states and seven cities are suing, and the courts must block the president’s “census sabotage.” “There is nothing wrong with asking about citizenship,” said Marc Thiessen in The Washington Post. Canada, Australia, and other U.S. allies do it. The Census Bureau has continued to ask about citizenship on smaller-scale “community surveys”—ones that still involve millions of people—in the years since 1950. Besides, if people don’t respond to the census, workers visit their house or ask their neighbors who lives there. So asking about citizenship “is not likely to produce inaccurate data.” Why should illegal immigrants have “fair representation in Congress”? asked Jonathan Tobin in NationalReview.com. That notion is inherently fraudulent. Once again, the Left is trying to “blur the distinction between citizens and noncitizens.” It’s the Right’s agenda that’s the problem, said Jonathan Blitzer in The New Yorker. The census added the citizenship question at the suggestion of Justice Department official John Gore, who has been involved in Republican redistricting efforts in several states and in efforts to pass voter-ID laws designed to reduce voting by blacks and Hispanics. That agenda has been wholeheartedly embraced by President Trump, who nonsensically insists that 4 million undocumented immigrants voted for Hillary Clinton. Why change a census policy that’s been in place since 1950? The administration’s motives are utterly transparent. Newscom, AP 16 NEWS Talking points Second Amendment: Stevens’ call for repeal Vox.com. To say the Sec“Progressives are finally ond Amendment must be coming clean,” said Kyle repealed is to “falsely imply Smith in the National that the existing text and Review—they really do precedents don’t allow for want to take your guns. sensible gun control.” In When retired Supreme reality, the Supreme Court Court Justice John Paul has ruled that Congress Stevens called for a repeal and the states can outlaw of the Second Amendment “dangerous and unusual” in a New York Times op-ed weapons, and has let stand last week, he was speaking Do progressives want to grab his guns? a wide variety of state laws, for the Democratic Party’s including bans on assault-style rifles and large “fervent base.” Usually, progressives couch their magazines. Meanwhile, the odds of repealing the demands for gun restrictions carefully, claiming amendment—which would require the support of they support the right to own weapons for selfdefense. But now Stevens has told the truth about 38 states—are nil. To declare it as an aim “simply sets up the gun-control movement for failure.” the Left’s extremism, and conservatives should thank him. While they rarely admit it, “guns and Still, Stevens deserves credit for understanding gun culture appall most liberals,” said Jonathan how our system is supposed to work, said Jonah Tobin in The Federalist. And in the aftermath Goldberg in the New York Post. The retired jusof Parkland, their “coyness about the Second tice “seeks to change the meaning of the ConstiAmendment may change.” tution in the way the Founders intended: through the amendment process,” not by finding some Stevens “has handed the gun lobby a rhetorical new, trendy meaning in a “living and breathing” howitzer,” said Laurence Tribe in The WashConstitution. Americans banned slavery and gave ington Post. For years the NRA has blocked women the right to vote through constitutional gun-control measures by falsely insisting that amendments, after long, fierce national debates. If any regulation is the gateway to total prohibiliberals would prefer to have Europe’s gun laws, tion. Now here comes Stevens to give “aid and as most would, they should try to amend the comfort to the gun lobby’s favorite argument.” Constitution. It would be hard, but “difficulty is That’s not the only way Stevens is playing into a feature, not a bug.” the gun lobby’s hands, said Matthew Yglesias in Conservatism: Is ‘Never Trump’ dead? Newscom It’s past time for “Never Trumpers” to make peace with the president, said Rich Lowry in National Review.com. Like many Republicans, I was initially skeptical that Donald Trump would govern as a true conservative. But he’s given Republicans nearly everything they wanted on judicial appointments, social-conservative causes, regulation relief, and tax cuts. His approval rating among rankand-file Republicans has risen to 86 percent. Yes, he’s taken populist stances on trade and immigration and conducts his administration “like a reality TV show.” But “Never Trumpers” should remember that Republican presidents have always tapped into the party’s Archie Bunker wing. Even the Waspy aristocrat George H.W. Bush ran in 1988 as a flag-waving, anti-crime crusader. Trump is no longer “an outlier” in the GOP, and if you think Trumpism will soon fade, you’re “in denial.” We just witnessed the conservative movement’s “final surrender” to Trumpism, said Jonathan Chait in NYMag.com. During the 2016 GOP primaries, Lowry—as editor-in-chief of National Review—devoted an entire issue to “Never Trump” essays. Conservatives warned that embracing an unscrupulous grifter and racial demagogue would taint the Republican Party forever, and warned of Trump’s authoritarian tendencies. “Nothing in Trump’s presidency has quelled these fears.” Trump has demanded personal loyalty from the FBI and Justice Department, and threatened networks, newspapers, and private companies with retribution. But since it’s the Constitution that Trump is trampling, not the conservative agenda, Lowry has decided that “an authoritarian can be a Republican in good standing.” No, he can’t—and that’s why I’ll always be “Never Trump,” said Michael Gerson in The Washington Post. It’s not normal or tolerable for an American president to compare immigrants to “dangerous vermin,” to characterize federal law enforcement as a “deep state” plotting against him, or to describe our free press as an “enemy of the people.” Trump’s crude cultivation of “anger and tribalism” will leave a lasting stain. Principled conservatives cannot keep silent while their party slips into “moral squalor and (eventually) electoral irrelevance.” Taking back the GOP “won’t be easy,” said Mike Murphy in Politico.com. But if Republicans get crushed in the midterms this fall, and/or a war erupts, they may view Trump differently. We’ve “seen how fast support can crumble when a party sees its very survival at stake.” NEWS 17 Wit & Wisdom “Our chief want in life is somebody who shall make us do what we can.” Ralph Waldo Emerson, quoted in The Wall Street Journal “Decide who you’re not before you decide who you are.” The musician Questlove, quoted in Esquire.com “Painting is poetry that is seen rather than felt.” Leonardo da Vinci, quoted in NPR.org “Families are about love overcoming emotional torture.” ‘Simpsons’ creator Matt Groening, quoted in Forbes.com “All love is doomed, seen in the light of death.” Novelist Anita Shreve, quoted in The Boston Globe “You need someone who believes in this country, again, to begin to change it.” James Baldwin, quoted in Boston Review “Polarizing people is a good way to win an election, and also a good way to wreck a country.” Columnist Molly Ivins, quoted in the Roanoke, Va., Times Poll watch Q68% of Americans say teachers in their communities are underpaid. 21% think they are paid “about right.” Just 5% think they are paid “too much.” CBS News Q77% of Americans think major newspapers and TV networks report “fake news.” 25% define “fake news” as stories in which journalists get the facts wrong. 65% say that “fake news” applies to how news outlets “make editorial decisions about what they choose to report.” 83% believe outside agents are trying to plant “fake news” in the mainstream media. Monmouth University THE WEEK April 13, 2018 Technology 18 NEWS Social media: Why is it so hard to quit? time feels different, though, said Charlie “Something is wrong with social media,” Warzel in BuzzFeed.com. “The impulse to said Kevin Roose in The New York Times. unplug is nothing new”; humans wanting Recent polls have found a precipitous to understand the importance of something drop in popularity among the industry’s that takes up a great deal of their time have Goliaths—Facebook, Twitter, and Google— always tried to remove it temporarily and over the past few months. Once envisioned reflect on it. There used to be a fun, curious as a space capable of “producing healthy element to unplugging from our online lives. discussions” and “connecting people to othToday, though, the rising level of toxicity in ers with similar interests,” social media is our “maddening, all-consuming, and unsusnow seen by a wary American public as a tainable” internet ecosystem means that getsource of discomfort. A scroll through Twitting offline has far more urgency “and even ter will render you “anxious, twitchy, a little ‘An endless and addictive scroll’ a hint of desperation to it.” world-weary,” not unlike the unease you feel watching your child watch YouTube videos, knowing she is only If you can’t “stop cold turkey,” start by setting boundaries, said “a few algorithmic nudges away from a rabbit hole filled with lunatic conspiracies and gore.” Then there’s Facebook—its recent Ash Rao in FastCompany.com. Trying avoiding social media bescandals a reminder “you’ve entrusted the most intimate parts of fore lunchtime; early in the day, it will “cloud your thoughts” and hamper morning productivity. Mute or unfollow those who post your digital life to a profit-maximizing surveillance machine.” nonstop, and physically log out of your accounts to reduce the temptation to check your feeds again and again. Deleting every “Here we go again,” said Shyam Sundar in TheConversation social media app from my phone “is the best thing I’ve done” this .com. Yes, Facebook users are rankled at being reminded that year, said Jake Swearingen in NYMag.com. Now I access my sothe social network tracks their every online move and that their cial media accounts only in small bites, like when I’m on my lapdata has for years been available to the highest bidder. But most top, rather than every time I get in line at the supermarket or step will end up staying. “As in all abusive relationships, users have onto an elevator. I was tired of feeling like a hostage, spending a psychological dependence that keeps them hooked despite portions of my day on “an endless and addictive scroll.” If you knowing that, at some level, it’s not good for them.” The truth vacantly graze through social media too often, give this strategy a is that billions of people get gratification from using Facebook, shot. It’s “the smartest decision I’ve made so far in 2018.” and that will make it unattractive to log off permanently. This Amazon has secured a patent for a new delivery drone that can respond to human gestures, said Thuy Ong in TheVerge.com. The e-commerce giant is working on a fleet of unmanned aerial vehicles that can get packages to customers in 30 minutes or less, and its latest patent offers some clues about how the flying robots will be taught to interact with human bystanders and delivery customers. The patent suggests that the drone could adjust its behavior depending on a person’s gestures, including frantically waving arms, pointing, and even a “shooing” motion. The drone could also release the package it’s transporting, change its flight path or flying speed, and ask humans a question. The drone’s communication system would comprise an array of sensors, including for depth and sound, and cameras to detect infrared and ultraviolet light. Amazon is currently testing the drones in Britain. THE WEEK April 13, 2018 Bytes: What’s new in tech Atlanta emerges from cyberattack Atlanta is still recovering from “one of the most sustained and consequential cyberattacks ever mounted against a major American city,” said Alan Blinder and Nicole Perlroth in The New York Times. For five days last month, the city’s municipal government was “brought to its knees” by a ransomware attack. Security experts linked the attack to “a shadowy hacking crew” known for selecting targets “that are the most likely to accede to its high ransom demands”; the group is believed to have demanded roughly $51,000. That attack “left parts of the city’s network tied in knots”: Residents could not pay their traffic tickets or water bills online, the municipal court couldn’t validate warrants, and police officers had to write reports by hand. Atlanta city officials have “disclosed few details about the episode,” including whether the city paid the ransom. More layoffs at Snap Snap is handing out another 100 pink slips, said Sarah Frier in Bloomberg.com. Having already pruned its engineering and content departments earlier this year, the California-based parent company of the social media platform Snapchat is now laying off 100 members of its advertising department. Snap says “the rolling cuts” are in response to an ill-advised hiring spree last year, when Snap was focused on trying to grab some of the ad market from rivals Google and Facebook. The company has in recent months lost key executives and released a widely panned redesign. After Snap’s IPO last year, it reported three straight quarters of “disappointing revenue growth” before beating growth expectations in February. Tesla’s mounting troubles Tesla announced last week that it will recall “almost half of all the vehicles the company has so far produced,” said Paul Eisenstein in NBCNews.com. The electric vehicle maker said 123,000 of its Model S sedans would be recalled because of an issue with corroding bolts that could lead to the loss of power steering—the third time that the Model S has been recalled since it came to market. California-based Tesla said the problem was likely only limited to cars in “very cold climates” where road salts are commonly used. But the announcement still comes “at a particularly inopportune time” for the automaker, which has been plagued by production problems with the mass-market Model 3 and a fatal crash of a Tesla in Autopilot mode that is now being probed by federal regulators. Getty, Amazon Innovation of the week Health & Science NEWS 19 An ancient visit by an alien star A wandering binary star sideswiped the solar system some 70,000 years ago, knocking dozens of far-flung comets and asteroids into unusual orbits. The glow of the red star’s fleeting flyby may have been witnessed by early human ancestors and Neanderthals, and scientists believe the gravitational effects of the prehistoric close encounter are still evident in the outer solar system today. The red dwarf and its smaller brown dwarf companion, jointly known as Scholz’s star, was first identified back in 2015. The star is currently 20 light-years from Earth, but researchers used its motion and velocity to trace its path backward through space. They calculate that it came within less than one light-year of the sun as it passed through the Oort cloud—a swarm of more than a trillion icy objects surrounding the outer edge of the solar system. Based on their unusual, V-shaped orbits, scientists suspect that at least 36 objects were nudged into new positions by the passing star’s gravity, TheWashingtonPost.com reports. The positions of these bodies “fits the close encounter with Scholz’s star,” says study author Carlos de la Fuente Marcos. His team also identified eight unusual comets Ancient Amazon settlements Fluid-filled spaces make up the interstitium. Michael Osadciw/University of Rochester, Jill Gregory/Mount Sinai Health System/licensed under CC-BY-ND, Newscom Discovery of a new organ? A vast network of fluid-filled channels that surrounds muscle and lines the digestive, respiratory, and urinary tracts may be a previously undetected human organ, known as the interstitium, say scientists at New York University Langone School of Medicine. The researchers believe that this newly found structure, which appears to be an “open, fluid-filled highway,” serves as an internal shock absorber for other organs and also plays a major role in the immune system. Interstitial fluid is the source of lymph, which dispatches white blood cells to fight infections. The interstitium could help explain how cancer cells spread throughout the body. “Once they get in, it’s like they’re on a water slide,” the study’s co-author, Neil Theise, tells NewScientist .com. “We have a new window on the mechanism of tumor spread.” The interstitium holds about 20 percent of all the fluid in the human body, but it has evaded detection until now since tissue samples are typically dehydrated before being examined under a microscope. More research is needed to understand its role and determine whether it is indeed a distinct organ. Either way, Theise says, this discovery may lead to “a significant reassessment of anatomy affecting every organ of the body.” Long before the arrival of Europeans, up to a million people thrived in large, complex villages buried deep within the Amazon rain forest. A team of archaeologists found 81 ancient settlements in the Upper Tapajós Basin, along Brazil’s border with Bolivia, NationalGeographic.com reports. The settlements, which are roughly 500 to 750 years old, challenge long-standing views of the Amazon as pristine wilderness. “There is a common misconception that the Amazon is an untouched landscape, home to scattered, nomadic communities,” says study author Jonas Gregorio de Souza. “This is not the case. We have found that some populations away from the major rivers are much larger than previously thought, and these people had an impact on the environment which we can still find today.” Satellite images reveal dozens of geoglyphs, or geometric-shaped trenches carved into the landscape. Ground surveys revealed abandoned stone tools, broken ceramics, buried trash, and terra preta— a type of charcoal-enriched, fertile soil made by ancient Amazonian civilizations. Freezing the ‘hunger nerve’ Diets often fail as long-term solutions for many people trying to lose weight. But new research suggests that freezing the so-called hunger nerve could suppress hunger and be an effective new treatment for those struggling with obesity. When the stomach is empty, a branch of the vagus nerve called the posterior vagal trunk kicks into action, sending hunger signals to the brain. Guided by CT scan images, researchers used a probe to freeze this nerve in 10 obese women and men, with the aim of dampening its signal. “We’re not trying to eliminate this biological response, only reduce the strength of this signal to the brain,” the study’s lead author, David Prologo, tells ScienceDaily.com. The preliminary results An artist’s conception of Scholz’s star that may have originated outside our solar system. of the study suggest the nerve-freezing procedure may do just that. None of the subjects experienced side effects, but all of them reported feeling more satisfied and less hungry 90 days later. They also slimmed down. On average, the subjects lost 3.6 percent of their body weight and experienced a 13.9 percent drop in their body mass index (BMI). The researchers say their findings must be confirmed with larger, long-term studies. Health scare of the week Grilling causes inflammation Regularly eating grilled, broiled, or roasted meat, chicken, or fish may increase the risk for high blood pressure, a new study shows. Harvard researchers came to this conclusion after analyzing the diet and cooking methods of more than 86,000 women and 17,000 men who were followed for up to 16 years. They found those who ate foods cooked by high heat more than 15 times a month were 17 percent more likely to develop high blood pressure than those who ate them less frequently. The people who preferred their meats well-done were also 15 percent more likely to become hypertensive, reports Reuters.com. “The chemicals produced by cooking meats at high temperatures induce oxidative stress, inflammation, and insulin resistance in animal studies, and these pathways may also lead to an elevated risk of developing high blood pressure,” says the study’s lead researcher, Gang Liu. Lowering the heat could help reduce these health risks. The researchers advise cutting back on barbecued burgers and fillets and opting for stewed, steamed, and poached meats and vegetables more often. THE WEEK April 13, 2018 20 NEWS THE WEEK April 13, 2018 Pick of the week’s cartoons For more political cartoons, visit: www.theweek.com/cartoons. ARTS Review of reviews: Books through A.A., and after chafing at the program’s platitudes, accepted the constraints of the A.A. template because using them to explain her addiction made escape possible. “Accompanying Jamison on her flight to discover those constraints is thrilling.” But her narrative flags, “briefly but tellingly,” when she hands storytelling duties over to other addicts, whose struggles are real but whose insights seldom match hers. Book of the week The Recovering: Intoxication and Its Aftermath by Leslie Jamison (Little, Brown, $30) Leslie Jamison’s new book buzzes with urgency, said David Ulin in the Los Angeles Times. Small wonder, “for Jamison is writing to survive.” Even so, her relationship with the substance that imperils her—alcohol—remains “something of a love story.” She describes her first sip of Champagne, experienced at 12, as akin to magic (“hot pine needles down my throat”). As a 21-year-old student at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, she thrilled at the chance to follow in the footsteps of forebears she thinks of as “legendary writer-drunks.” But heavy drinking doesn’t inspire; it destroys, and so Jamison eventually committed to sobriety. Mixing memoir, testimony from fellow addicts, and profiles of famous alcoholic writers, she’s engineered a deep and fruitful investigation into the lure of intoxication—in all forms—and the struggle to adequately resist that lure. Novel of the week The Female Persuasion Alamy by Meg Wolitzer (Riverhead, $28) Meg Wolitzer’s latest is “the best kind of social novel,” said Marion Winik in Newsday. “A brilliant book about relationships set against a backdrop of principles, movements, and change,” The Female Persuasion revolves around a mentormentee dynamic. Greer Kadetsky is a freshman at a third-tier New England college when she crosses paths with a Gloria Steinem–like figure who will play an outsize role in her life. But that relationship isn’t entirely beneficial to Greer, who’s eventually forced to decide how far she’s willing to bend to please her benefactor. “Wolitzer is at her best when dropping wry but casual observations,” said Amy Gentry in the Chicago Tribune. Her style is “oddly resistant to intensity,” though, which is a problem whenever tragedy strikes. And when the story’s focus shifts to any of three secondary characters, “years of change whoosh by on generalizations.” Still, people in real life are like that—weathering countless surprises before becoming exactly who they were destined to be. “If we never quite catch them in the act, there’s still something satisfying about seeing them arrive.” 21 Booze and writing: A temptation distilled Such is Jamison’s talent, “she could rivet a reader with a treatise on toast,” said Gary Greenberg in The New Yorker. She’s acutely aware, though, that she’s covering well-trod ground here: Every story about addiction, she writes, boils down to “Desire. Use. Repeat.” But there are lessons in the patterns she finds when she turns to the many writers—John Berryman, Raymond Carver, and Elizabeth Bishop among them—who glimpsed potential transcendence in drinking only to discover the portal was a trap. Jamison sought escape from that trap Tiger Woods by Jeff Benedict and Armen Keteyian (Simon & Schuster, $30) “Who is Tiger Woods?” asked Dwight Garner in The New York Times. Woods himself might not be able to answer that, but the latest biography of the fallen golf superstar charges so confidently through the first half-century of the drama that, “like a well-struck golf ball,” it demands admiration. Jeff Benedict and Armen Keteyian vacuumed up everything written about their subject and then interviewed 250-plus people to bring “grainy new detail” to the tale. Though they get too brash in their delivery at times, the saga they’ve crafted manages to be almost simultaneously “exhilarating, depressing, tawdry, and moving.” This is “a big American story that rolls across barbered lawns and then leaves you stranded in some all-night Sam’s Club of the soul.” That story, for a good 150 pages, “could be plucked out of a heartwarming chil- The book also indulges a strain of magical thinking, said Clancy Martin in Bookforum. “I applaud Jamison for not romanticizing drunks,” and she’s right that Carver, Denis Johnson, and many other writers hit their stride only after cleaning up. But she shapes other stories to fit her belief that everyone writes better sober. “To my mind, this is a very dangerous kind of idolatry. Whether you’re idolizing booze or you’re idolizing booze-free, you’re still idolizing.” None of this negates the value of The Recovering—“if you’re interested in the relationship between artists and addiction, you must read it.” But “it’s too reductive, and probably harmful, to understand writers, artists, or any human beings as either failure or success, drunk or sober, crazy or sane.” dren’s movie,” said John Paul Newport in Bloomberg.com. A boy of modest means uses talent and an iron work ethic to change the face of an elitist, white-dominated sport by becoming its greatest player ever. His parents pushed, and Tiger complied, logging 10,000 hours of links practice by age 12. Still, “what Benedict and Keteyian do better than in any biography I’ve read about Woods is detail the human costs of this machine-like focus.” Rude, entitled, at times outright callous, Woods eventually had affairs with dozens of women before a 2009 altercation with his wife exposed his secret life. Yet because his misery is also vividly drawn, “readers may find their sympathies for Woods growing as the Shakespearean tragedy of his life unfolds.” Not that he gets a fair hearing, said Leigh Montville in The Wall Street Journal. Because people close to Woods are bound by confidentiality agreements, the testimony readers get comes disproportionately from ex-associates who’ve been burned by Woods. Meanwhile, redemption is still possible, at least professionally. At 42, Woods suddenly has somehow emerged from a decade-long funk to enter this weekend’s Masters as a bettor’s favorite. In this story, “the final chapter is yet to be written.” THE WEEK April 13, 2018 The Book List 22 ARTS Gerald Murnane This story could well be the only chance you get to take note of Gerald Murnane, said Mark Binelli in The New York Times. “A strong case could be made for Murnane as the greatest living Englishlanguage writer most people have never heard of,” and unless the 79-yearold wins a Nobel Prize— as some oddsmakers expect he will—he may well remain a cult figure. For the past decade, he has lived in tiny Goroke, Australia, and though he enjoys tending bar at the local golf club, he strongly prefers not to travel. “I have a reputation in some quarters as an aloof recluse,” he says. “But that’s only because I refuse to go to writers’ festivals and talk the fake-intellectual [expletive] that most writers talk.” Fortyfour years after Murnane published his first novel, however, readers are gradually finding him. “It seems,” he says, “like things are starting to work out.” The two Murnane books arriving in the U.S. this month are typical in being both autobiographical and highly introspective, said Jamie Fisher in The Washington Post. Border Districts, a novel, is narrated by a man in his 60s who has never traveled more than a day’s journey from his birthplace yet has moved to a remote town with the intent of dismantling received ideas and finding everything he needs in his own imagination. Murnane’s other new book, Stream System, bears a cover blurb that labels the author a genius and “a worthy heir to Beckett”—yet its stories, too, rarely leave the brain space of their creator. “People are a mystery to me,” Murnane says. “I don’t know what anyone is thinking.” THE WEEK April 13, 2018 Best books...chosen by Jan Morris Jan Morris’ new book, Battleship Yamato, tells the story of World War II’s most powerful warship. Below, the celebrated Welsh-born historian, travel writer, and author of Manhattan ’45 names six favorite books about her favorite American metropolis. Delirious New York by Rem Koolhaas (Monacelli, $35). The book that launched the Dutch architect’s renown is a wonderfully eccentric and influential analysis of the physical and symbolic development of New York City. Illustrated with paintings, photographs, plans, and imaginative propositions, it amounts to a dashing manifesto of Manhattanism. Golden Hill by Francis Spufford (Scribner, $17). Published in 2016, this brilliant first novel by a much-admired nonfiction writer includes an extraordinarily vivid reconstruction of the city in the last years of British rule. Naked City by Weegee (Da Capo, $17.50). A celebrated New York photographer portrays his city with its figurative clothes off. Arthur “Weegee” Fellig (1899-1968) was famous for capturing scenes of crime and violence, and most of the pictures in this 1945 book were taken at night. But they are so infused with humor, sympathy, and understanding that they demonstrate a profound love for the city and its people. The New York Kid’s Book (out of print). Nearly 170 contributors, many of them eminent, were featured in this 1979 anthology. A compendium of essays, photos, jokes, poems, and puzzles, it was distributed free to the children’s rooms of libraries throughout New York. The Big Oyster by Mark Kurlansky (Random House, $17). By no means a joke, The Big Oyster is a scholarly analysis of the importance of the local oyster beds in the development of New York, from their first exploitation in the 18th century to their destruction by pollution in the 1920s. The book is rich in social and culinary history and includes many maps and other illustrations, so that no shell is left unturned. The New York Pop-Up Book edited by Marie Salerno and Arthur Gelb (out of print). A commemorative book published to mark the 100th anniversary of the unification of New York’s five boroughs, The New York Pop-Up Book contains all manner of cut-outs, snippets, and incidental notes. Featuring contributions from E.L. Doctorow, Tom Wolfe, Wynton Marsalis, and others, it brings to life the goings-on of New York from its beginnings to today. Also of interest...in West Africa rising Freshwater Children of Blood and Bone by Akwaeke Emezi (Grove, $24) by Tomi Adeyemi (Holt, $19) “In its barest outline, this is simply the coming-of-age tale of a brilliant but troubled young woman,” said Sam Sacks in The Wall Street Journal. But because Akwaeke Emezi’s “witchy, electrifying” novel uses both conventional psychology and the folklore of Nigeria’s Igbo people to interpret its heroine’s actions, it reinvigorates a familiar story. We see Ada’s erratic behavior through the eyes of malevolent gods, and events that might appear merely sordid instead possess “a hideous grandeur.” Tomi Adeyemi, who’s only 24, “already writes like an author who is 10 books deep in her career,” said Caitlyn Paxson in NPR.org. In a novel that’s poised to be the next big thing in young-adult fiction, two young heroines in a fictional West African nation embark on a journey to end the oppression of a people who once wielded the powers of the gods. A “fast-paced, excellently crafted” adventure ensues, and the brilliant climax will leave readers gasping—and placing pre-orders for the sequel. Fisherman’s Blues The Away Game by Anna Badkhen (Riverhead, $27) by Sebastian Abbot (Norton, $27) Hope springs eternal in the Senegalese fishing community portrayed in this “memorably beautiful” tribute to a vanishing way of life, said Steve Donoghue in CSMonitor.com. Though commercial operations are emptying the sea of fish, the locals forever believe in the next big catch, and reporter Anna Badkhen sails with them to capture the rhythms of the work and its passed-down wisdom. As their traditions disappear, “readers will have the small comfort of visiting their world in the pages of this book.” For many teenagers in Africa, there is no greater dream than to be the next global soccer star, said The Economist. Sebastian Abbot’s engrossing book follows three hopefuls who were recruited to participate in a Qatari-funded program that held tryouts for half a million youngsters a year. Abbot neglects to show that the program’s chosen few weren’t the only African players exploited, yet “that is a minor shortcoming” in an otherwise “masterful” account of the drama and science of scouting. David Hurn, Ian Hill Author of the week Review of reviews: Stage & Music ARTS 23 Yerma The Park Avenue Armory, New York City, (212) 616-3930 ++++ Stephanie Berger On a Manhattan stage, Billie Piper is currently delivering the type of performance that leaves you “bruised, breathless, and grateful for an experience you wouldn’t have missed for the world,” said Ben Brantley in The New York Times. In Yerma, the 35-year-old Olivier Award winner plays a journalist and blogger undone by her inability to conceive a child, and just how far the character will go to avoid accepting her reality becomes a matter of grave suspense. “The answer: further than you dare imagine.” dant fuels her growing sense of failure by blogging about her pregnancy bid and subjecting herself to the withering judgments of an online village. Piper’s “simply staggering” work puts us inside a woman’s unraveling. “Her character, at first delightfully and sexily full of life, devolves in such heartbreaking, visceral fashion that the evening takes on the feel of Greek tragedy.” Though the Park Avenue Armory is sprawling, the production “packs so much searing emotion that it easily fills the space,” said Frank Scheck in The Hollywood Reporter. The story opens on a scene of enviable domesticity: Piper’s character, known to us as Her, has just moved with her husband into a large, newly purchased home and surprises him when she suggests they should try to have a baby. Her spouse, played by Brendan Cowell, quickly comes around to the idea, ceremoniously crushing his partner’s packet of birth control pills underfoot—“and then the nightmare begins.” The couple’s fruitless effort to conceive stretches for years, eventually distancing Her from family members and friends and undermining the marriage as in-vitro treatments deplete the couple’s bank account. In the original play, written in 1934 by Federico García Lorca, the protagonist was a Spanish peasant burdened by the scrutiny of neighbors in a tight-knit community. Here, in Simon Stone’s bold adaptation, the character’s modern descen- The play’s sexual politics “lag a bit,” said Helen Shaw in Time Out New York. The story traffics in a “she-can’t-have-it-all prurience” that flourished in the 1980s. Still, “if you can stomach a portrait of a woman letting the procreative drive steer her completely round the twist, you won’t do better than Piper’s powerhouse performance, a thing of such hectic emotional commitment that you fear for her actual sanity.” When Piper is weeping and screaming—crumbling before our eyes—you might also be thankful that the brilliant stage design often places her securely behind a glass wall. “There’s no telling what emotions like those could do if a beast this angry were let out of its cage.” Kacey Musgraves Miles Davis & John Coltrane Orquesta Akokán Golden Hour The Final Tour Orquesta Akokán ++++ ++++ ++++ The new Kacey Musgraves record might be 2018’s best album so far, said Maeve McDermott in USA Today. “A wondrous collection of songs” that finds the 29-year-old newlywed “in a perpetual swoon—not just over love, but the entire world that surrounds her new life,” it disproves the myth that all great art (or at least all great country music) emerges from heartbreak. Musgraves, a Texas-bred singer-songwriter who broke boundaries on her Grammy-winning 2013 debut, still speaks her mind. “If she’s feeling magical, she’s going to say so.” Her songwriting reflects her open fondness for LSD and weed, said Rob Harvilla in TheRinger.com. Musgraves describes Golden Hour as “galactic country,” and the music is surely her “spaciest” yet, awash in synthesizers and merely accented by pedal-steel guitar. Listening to the record, “you might zone out for whole songs at a time, only to find yourself startled by some pristine detail, like the banjo that delicately pushes ‘Oh, What a World’ heavenward.” The new Miles Davis– John Coltrane box set “demands we revise the conventional wisdom about these two musicians,” said Fred Kaplan in Slate.com. Davis, known as a master shape-shifter, was resistant to the free-jazz revolution Coltrane was attempting when the tenor saxophonist and longtime sideman in Davis’ quintet grudgingly agreed to a 1960 European tour to promote the trumpeter’s Kind of Blue. Throughout the five concerts on this four-disc collection (Vol. 6 of the Miles Davis Bootleg Series), Coltrane strains against musical barriers: Even on the opening tune—Cole Porter’s “All of You”— the soloing reedman unleashes “volcanoes of notes,” layering chords upon chords. At the time, “no one had heard anything like this before,” and Davis pushed back, both onstage and off. “Not every performance is as tempestuous,” said David Weininger in The Boston Globe. But for four discs and five nights, the tension between Trane’s explosiveness and Miles’ painterly restraint is “so palpable that it begins to function as the ensemble’s sixth member.” Orquesta Akokán is a band steeped in Cuban music of the past, but its first album is no mere history lesson, said Felix Contreras in NPR.org. The 16-piece brass-driven orchestra has simply made “a damn good record”— an homage consisting of entirely original music that brilliantly captures how the 1950s bands of Tito Puente, Benny Moré, and Pérez Prado each operated “like one giant rhythm machine.” Lead singer José “Pepito” Gómez sounds just right for his part, and so does the room: The album was recorded at Havana’s legendary Areito Studios, a place famous for the way its acoustics accentuate the sounds of conga and bongo drums, and “every track on Orquesta Akokán benefits from that studio magic.” Akokán is a Yoruba word that means “from the heart,” and on all nine songs, “the playing underscores the translation,” said Thom Jurek in AllMusic.com. The whole record has a “bright, kinetic, warm feel,” and from the first few notes of the opening track, “it’s impossible not to move one’s feet and hips.” Piper and Cowell: A love destined to wound THE WEEK April 13, 2018 24 ARTS Review of reviews: Film Actor Jason Clarke is excellent as the “arrogantly dim-witted” Kennedy, said James Dawson Owen Gleiberman in Variety. in TheFederalist.com. As the The new movie about the scanfamily’s fixers try to shape the dal is “exactly what you want senator’s public response and he it to be: a tense, scrupulous, suffers the disdain of a “viciously absorbingly precise piece of dismissive” father, Kennedy flirts history,” and it makes the late with becoming a sympathetic Sen. Ted Kennedy look like a character before delivering a weasel. On the night of July 18, Clarke’s spot-on scion cravenly dishonest televised 1969, as we’ve long known, Kennedy drove off a bridge near a Martha’s Vineyard speech. Even his allies, at that moment, are disapbeach, and the 28-year-old woman he was with died pointed, yet “no one dares say what they are really in the submerged vehicle. But while the movie avoids thinking,” said Alan Zilberman in The Washington Post. Kennedy would serve with honor in the Senate sensationalism, it makes clear that Kennedy truly could have saved Mary Jo Kopechne’s life and that he for decades thereafter, but after reliving that episode, spent the next week sacrificing the truth to his career. “no viewer will think of Ted in quite the same way.” was even Chappaquiddick “Chappaquiddick worse than we think,” said Directed by John Curran (PG-13) ++++ The Kennedys cover up a crime. A Quiet Place Directed by John Krasinski (PG-13) ++++ A family must remain silent—or else. “a feature-length extension of John Krasinski’s new horror the stock scene where a characfilm is “a taut, breathless little ter hides in a closet and tries not trick of a movie,” said Leah to scream,” said Adi Robertson Greenblatt in Entertainment in TheVerge.com. Blunt’s charWeekly. The former sitcom acter is about to give birth, standout co-stars alongside his though, introducing a host of wife, Emily Blunt, as a couple complications. The film falters raising their children in a postlate, when the foreboding gives apocalyptic world infested by way to outright violence. But large, blind, spider-like aliens Blunt: Pregnant and terrified A Quiet Place mostly remains that attack at the slightest sound. That makes silence a matter of survival, forc- “grounded solidly in human drama.” Sitting in a silent theater for so long is strange: “All we do is ing the family to communicate in sign language as watch and beg these characters to be careful,” said Krasinski “builds a fantastically sustained mood” Jonathan Dean in GQ (U.K.). And when they aren’t across 90 minutes of “slow-drip dread and wellearned jump scares.” In essence, Krasinski has made careful? Well—“good luck with the nightmares.” about the movie, though, is “It is rare to come across a film how strong and uninhibited its that is as funny as it is heartDirected by Kay Cannon female characters are.” In this warming, or as charming as it is (R) era of #MeToo, young co-stars daring,” said Natalie Mokry in Kathryn Newton, Gideon Adlon, the Austin American-Statesman. ++++ and Geraldine Viswanathan Parents run interference on Somehow, Kay Cannon’s new show that “time is emphatically generation-gap comedy “finds their girls’ prom-night plans. up on telling young women they the perfect balance between all can’t have control in sexual situof these qualities.” Leslie Mann, ations,” said Joanna Robinson John Cena, and Ike Barinholtz Barinholtz, Mann, and Cena in VanityFair.com. All three play the overprotective parents shine, though “if there’s gonna be a breakout comic of three teenage girls who make a pact to lose their star from this film, it’ll likely be Viswanathan,” said virginity on prom night. It’s hard not to sympathize April Wolfe in TheWrap.com. Though some of the with Mann’s helicopter mom, Cena’s lovable jock, jokes feel dated, it’s about time the teen sex-comedy and Barinholtz’s slacker dad as they make fools of canon had an entry that proves girls are funny and themselves hopping from party to party, hoping “can play more than the killjoy or the babe.” to prevent the inevitable. “One of the best things New on DVD and Blu-ray Star Wars: The Last Jedi Jane Last Men in Aleppo (Lucasfilm, $30) (National Geographic, $20) (Grasshopper, $30) Episode VIII turned out to be “the first flatout terrific Star Wars movie since 1980’s The Empire Strikes Back,” said the Los Angeles Times. Carrie Fisher had a meaty role in her final turn as Princess Leia, while Mark Hamill returned as a reclusive Jedi master tracked down by a promising but conflicted pupil. This documentary about primatologist Jane Goodall “will likely stand as the definitive portrait,” said The Hollywood Reporter. Much of the movie is composed of never-before-seen 1960s footage of Goodall’s interactions with chimpanzees in Tanzania, and it “puts us right there to share directly in her discoveries.” “This is an essential film, but it is also a terribly dispiriting one,” said The New York Times. A portrait of Syria’s White Helmets, the volunteers who rush into bombed buildings to pull survivors from the rubble, this “galvanizing” documentary doesn’t offer hope, because, in 2016, there was none to offer. THE WEEK April 13, 2018 Entertainment Studios, Jonny Cournoyer, Quantrell D. Colbert Blockers Television Movies on TV Courtesy of Netflix (2) Monday, April 9 Sunset Boulevard Gloria Swanson made film history playing Norma Desmond, the unhinged silent-film star chasing a comeback in Billy Wilder’s superb film noir. (1950) 8 p.m., TCM Tuesday, April 10 Mr. Mom Before stay-at-home dads were a thing, Michael Keaton made them look hilariously unready for child-rearing in this comedy about a laid-off engineer and his ad exec wife. (1983) 9:35 p.m., Cinemax Wednesday, April 11 Inherent Vice Joaquin Phoenix plays a perpetually baked California detective in Paul Thomas Anderson’s adaptation of a recent Thomas Pynchon novel. (2015) 8 p.m., Cinemax Thursday, April 12 The Sense of an Ending An English retiree confronts the fallout from his response to a romantic betrayal he suffered decades earlier. Jim Broadbent, Charlotte Rampling, and Emily Mortimer co-star. (2017) 8 p.m., Showtime Friday, April 13 As Good As It Gets Jack Nicholson and Helen Hunt both won Oscars for their work in this comedy about the sideways courtship of an obsessivecompulsive novelist and his favorite waitress. (1997) 9:35 p.m., Movieplex Saturday, April 14 There’s Something About Mary The Farrelly brothers hit their crass-comedy peak when they asked Cameron Diaz to play a dream girl pursued by several losers. (1998) 8 p.m., IFC Sunday, April 15 Born Free An English couple living in Kenya raises lion cubs to adulthood to make amends for the death of the cats’ mother. (1966) 10 p.m., TCM • All listings are Eastern Time. ARTS 25 The Week’s guide to what’s worth watching Independent Lens: The Art of the Shine It’s all about the characters in Stacey Tenenbaum’s warmhearted documentary about shoe shiners around the world. It’s not a growing field, and some practitioners complain of feeling invisible. But from Sarajevo to Tokyo to Paris, this onehour group portrait keeps finding people who take pride in the art. Monday, April 9, at 10 p.m., PBS; check local listings Andre the Giant Measuring a menacing 7 feet and weighing in at nearly 500 pounds, pro wrestler Andre the Giant was a myth come to life. This new documentary portrait rewinds to the 1970s and ’80s to revisit the ring performer’s glory years and capture his generosity and humor. But it also recalls André Roussimoff’s early days in rural France, when he first showed signs of gigantism and learned to live with the disorder that set him apart from others. Tuesday, April 10, at 10 p.m., HBO The Expanse The series that has quietly established itself as the best sci-fi show since Battlestar Galactica returns for a third season, promising more first-rate effects and deeper immersion in its overarching drama. Humans have colonized the galaxy but haven’t tamed their tribal instincts, so the prospect of all-out war looms even as the species faces an existential threat from a deadly “protomolecule” now spreading on Venus. Wednesday, April 11, at 9 p.m., Syfy Chef’s Table: Pastry master Corrado Assenza Bosch For three seasons, Titus Welliver has owned the title role in this series based on Michael Connelly’s novels about brooding but relentless L.A. detective Harry Bosch. Season 4 gives the sleepy-eyed actor a juicy story: A celebrity black attorney is murdered on the eve of a trial that would have shined a light on LAPD misconduct, and Bosch is handed the job of figuring out if the killer might be a member of the force. Whatever he decides, his conclusion threatens to ignite rioting. Available for streaming Friday, April 13, Amazon Other highlights Elton John: I’m Still Standing— A Grammy Salute The legendary pop singer—on the verge of his farewell tour—is feted with an all-star concert featuring Kesha, Miranda Lambert, Ed Sheeran, and more. Tuesday, April 10, at 9 p.m., CBS Chef’s Table: Pastry America Inside Out With Katie Couric Get to know some of the world’s most acclaimed pastry chefs as Netflix’s kitchen portrait series rolls Journalist Couric is crisscrossing the country seeking common ground on divisive issues, out four new episodes. Sicily’s Corrado Assenza beginning with a return to Charlottesville, Va., shares the secrets to heavenly gelato. Catalonia’s and the battles over the South’s monuments to Jordi Roca gets cheekily sculptural at the threestar Michelin restaurant he created with his broth- Confederate war heroes. Wednesday, April 11, at 10 p.m., National Geographic Channel ers. New York’s Christina Tosi makes art from childhood junk-food memories at Momofuku 53rd Academy of Country Music Awards Milk Bar. And Bali’s Will Goldfarb keeps his Luke Bryan, Jason Aldean, Lady Antebellum, dessert-only restaurant evergreen by concocting Maren Morris, and many other stars will take the expressionist delights inspired by poetry. Available stage in a celebration of the year’s best country for streaming Friday, April 13, Netflix music. Sunday, April 15, at 8 p.m., CBS Show of the week Lost in Space Jenkins with Posey: A boy forced to grow up fast Welcome back, Will Robinson. In a bold remake of the camp 1960s sci-fi series, young Will once again picks up a robot sidekick after his family of space colonizers crash-lands on a strange planet. But the story plays as a futuristic life-and-death drama rather than a send-up of the original’s campiness, and fine special effects smooth the transition. Twelve-year-old Maxwell Jenkins plays Will, anchoring the story, while Parker Posey steps into the Dr. Smith role, giving the show and all the Robinsons the kind of unreliable ally that can keep a drama afloat for years. Available for streaming Friday, April 13, Netflix THE WEEK April 13, 2018 26 LEISURE Food & Drink Critics’ choice: Restaurants that keep it all in the family D’ La Santa Seattle “When you open a restaurant, having a big family helps,” said Providence Cicero in The Seattle Times. Just ask Anjelica Wine: French Crémants Stop settling for prosecco, said Elin McCoy in Bloomberg.com. If you’re caught up in sparkling wine’s current surge, you’ll get more pleasure from French crémants. Crémants are sparklers made outside Champagne, and they’re more layered and creamier than Italy’s popular bubbly. “Think of them as the underdogs of the French wine world, offering sophisticated Gallic lair without the Champagne price tag.” NV Domaine Saint-Remy Brut Cuvée Prestige ($24). Alsace produces many easy-to-find crémants, including this “bright, crisp” cuvée with notes of plum and golden apples. NV Parigot & Richard Brut Rosé ($25). “Lively, tangy” strawberry lavors make this Burgundy rosé “perfect for a decadent brunch.” 2014 Domaine Vincendeau ($22). This “bright and mineral” crémant from the Loire Valley has a loral aroma and “serious depth.” THE WEEK April 13, 2018 jalapeños and cactus. D’ La Santa “has some kinks to work out,” but the vision is compelling, and “I’d put my money on Villasenor getting what she wants.” 2359 10th Ave., (206) 709-2222 A new adventure: Don and Sue Lee at Ejen Villasenor, whose dream came true when various kin scraped together the money to secure and convert a space where she could serve her mother’s recipes surrounded by relatives. To prepare, Villasenor made several trips home to her native Guadalajara, bringing back Mexican-crafted tableware and décor, plus a 10-foot-tall driftwood tree, created by Guadalajara artist, that sits at the center of the dining room. Starters can be as ample as a chile relleno taco or as light as roasted poblano peppers stuffed with meat and asadero cheese. Light is better if you’ve ordered the Parrillada, a family-size mixed grill that includes “robustly seasoned” prime-grade carne asada, garlicky pork sausages, fragrant pollo asado, corn, beans, and fire-blistered Ejen Brooklyn You know your parents love you when they move cross-country and help you start a food stand, said Ligaya Mishan in The New York Times. Jenny Jiae Lee had a vision. The Korean-born architect, who had relocated from California to New York, missed her mother’s soulful Korean cooking so much that she asked her parents to abandon their comfortable Golden State retirement to cook for New York City’s masses. Though neither had restaurant experience, they agreed, and now Don and Sue Lee are wowing customers who find them at the counter that the family set up inside Brooklyn’s Industry City food hall. “The meatballs alone made me jealous of [Jenny] Lee’s childhood”: They’re a tender meld of pork, green onion, and carrot, ever-so-lightly breaded, fried, and glazed. Korean staples like pork bulgogi and bibimbap exhibit a rare precision in their balance of flavors and texture. Think shiitakes, carrots, spinach, and burdock fanned out over rice and topped by an egg with a “still-quaking” yolk. “Pierce it and stir it in, and you have luxury.” 254 36th St., (no phone) Recipe of the week “Not all cakes have to involve three layers, chocolate frosting, and birthday candles,” say the editors at TastingTable.com. At Comal, a restaurant in Denver that’s an incubator for women building businesses around heritage cooking, Syrian refugees Vian Alnidawi and Sara Nassr have become known for their basbousa, a semolina cake bathed in sweet syrup and dusted with coconut. They lavor the cake with lemon, but you can also substitute a few splashes of rose or orange-blossom water. Basbousa (semolina cake) 2 cups fine semolina • 2 cups dried, unsweetened coconut • 2 cups granulated sugar • 2 cups all-purpose lour • 1 tsp kosher salt • 1 cup plain whole-milk yogurt • 3 eggs • 2 tsp baking powder • 2 tsp vanilla extract • 1¼ cups granulated sugar • 1¼ cups water • 1 tsp lemon juice • finely chopped pistachios • unsweetened coconut • Preheat oven to 350. In a bowl, combine first nine ingredients into a thick batter and press into either a 9-by-13-inch baking dish or a 10-inch springform pan that’s been greased and lined with parchment. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until center is set. Turn oven to broil for 3 to 4 minutes to brown the top of the cake. Let cool. • Meanwhile, make the sugar syrup. In a saucepan, combine the sugar and water over high heat; boil until sugar is dissolved. Add lemon juice and allow syrup to cool slightly before slowly pouring it over the cake until it’s completely absorbed. To serve, cut into pieces and garnish each with the chopped pistachios and additional coconut. Au Rong Xu/The New York Times/Redux, Andrew Bui for Tasting Table Jade Court Chicago This father-daughter operation is “home to the best Chinese food I’ve had in a long, long time,” said Phil Vettel in the Chicago Tribune. Though their new venture is only 18 months old, co-owners Eddy and Carol Cheung are hardly novices, having spent the previous two decades running Phoenix—“for my money the most accomplished restaurant in Chinatown.” Price competition is a bit less fierce in University Village, so when a former Italian restaurant shut down, they grabbed the spare but handsome space. Jade Court’s menu lays out the expected Chinese options, “but the way to order is to ask what the kitchen is up to that evening.” Carol is great at steering guests to new discoveries, such as custardy shrimp and scrambled eggs, or typhoon lobster, which is quickly deep-fried and redolent of garlic and chilis. The Peking duck is also exceptional, and the off-menu king-crab special merits a spot on your bucket list. You must order it three days in advance, but you’ll be rewarded with crab three ways: the legs steamed with cellophane noodles and roasted garlic, the knuckle meat in a stir fry, and the roe in a rich egg custard. 626 Racine Ave., (312) 929-4828 Travel LEISURE 27 This week’s dream: Visiting cave-art country in southern France To view cave art in person is to enter “a wide-open playpen for the imagination,” said Paul Rutz in TheSmartSet.com. As a painter, I’ve long believed there’s no substitute for seeing artwork in person, which is why I arranged to travel to Dordogne, France, last year to visit three prehistoric art-filled caves: La Grotte du Sorcier, Les Combarelles, and the famous Font-deGaume—the only cave with polychrome Paleolithic paintings that still hosts regular tours. “Against crushingly powerful odds,” the images in the caves have lasted tens of thousands of years, inspiring scholars of the past century or so to speculate about their meaning and purpose. In truth, nobody knows, and “that’s one of the greatest attractions of cave art”: Whatever interpretation you come up with is nearly as valid as an expert’s. At Font-de-Gaume, located near a “way too quaint” village called Les Eyzies-deTayac-Sireuil, we had only half an hour. Because photographs are not allowed, I Hotel of the week Redefining ‘cabin’ Alamy, courtesy of Awasi Iguazú Awasi Iguazú Misiónes, Argentina The largest waterfall system in the world finally has a luxe place to stay on its spectacular northern side, said Jacqueline Gifford in Travel + Leisure. Awasi’s new 14-cabin lodge near Iguazú Falls “knows how to bring style to the wilderness”: Each luxe cabin has a plunge pool, uncompromised views over rain forest, and both a private guide and a Ford Bronco on call for excursions. Devil’s Throat is a must: Though the cascade can be glimpsed from Brazil, “its scale and power are best appreciated in Argentina.” Swap stories with other guests when you gather for dinner at the main lodge. awasiguazu.com; from $1,000 per person, all-inclusive browns, and oranges. Les Combarelles, a much deeper cave, was more disorienting, but it rewarded our spelunking with 600 etchings—of abstract shapes, big mammals, and sex organs. Les Eyzies, the gateway to prehistoric Dordogne scribbled furiously in my sketch pad as clusters of animals emerged from deep shadow when the guide’s handheld lamp passed over them. Before paint was applied, some surfaces had apparently been scraped flat by the ancient artists: “sophisticated craftsmen indeed—or craftswomen.” In many places, the 15,000-year-old paintings were “ghosts of their former colorful glory,” but a few images still popped, in bold blacks, So what did such art mean to its creators? Some scholars argue it was religious in nature. Others say it was the graffiti of adventurous adolescents. “Perhaps asking historical questions misses the point,” though. The best reason to see it, I decided, is to feel what we have in common with people long dead. Standing where the ancient painters once stood, “I could stretch my arms and feel why a given bison painting was this tall, and its head this far off the floor.” For a few minutes, “I was a receiver picking up faint communication across mindboggling distance, a little like someone on another planet recording a distorted radio signal from Earth thousands of years from now.” At Hôtel Le Cro-Magnon aux Eyzies (hotelcromagnon.com), doubles start at $105. Getting the flavor of... America’s most UFO-obsessed towns Cowgirl yoga in Montana “Even though the golden age of extraterrestrial encounters ended with the Cold War, there’s still hope!” said Matt Meltzer in Thrillist.com. Many small towns celebrate their ties to UFO lore, and the enthusiasm can be contagious. In Arizona, where even a former governor claims to have seen a UFO, Miranda Leslie runs spotting tours out of Sedona. “She’ll happily tell you about her experiences being abducted by aliens,” then bring you to the desert, hand out night-vision goggles, and teach you how to distinguish “legit” UFOs from satellites. McMinnville, Ore.—where in 1950 a farmer snapped a few photos that launched a flying-saucer mania—is now as famous for pinot noir, but it hosts America’s second-largest annual UFO festival. The largest is in Roswell, N.M., home to the International UFO Research Center and a flying saucer–shaped McDonald’s. “Whether you believe in aliens or not, the town is a fantastic slice of Americana.” “Bring 12 women together on a beautiful ranch and very naturally a sisterhood emerges,” said Nicola Bridges in The San Diego Union-Tribune. That’s what I learned shortly after arriving in Clyde Park, Mont., to join in a ladies-only equestrian-themed yoga vacation created by a company called Big Sky Yoga Retreats. My fellow guests are a diverse group of smart women— teachers, executives, and moms from all over the U.S. and beyond. And because the retreat’s leader “exudes serenity with a side of sassy,” she has a way of encouraging friendship without appearing to be trying. We take hikes, bond with our horses, or hang out in a breathtaking barn lounge to share laughter, tears—and “more than a little wine.” By the second evening, we feel we’ve known one another for years; “by the third, we’re swapping recipes and lounging in our PJs, some of us sneaking to the corral for goodnight horse kisses under the ink-black, starlit sky.” Last-minute travel deals A Hudson Valley escape Through April 30, the Hasbrouck House, a converted 18th-century mansion in Stone Ridge, N.Y., is offering half off on second nights for midweek stays. The two-night package costs $345 and includes snowshoe rentals and s’mores kits. SoCal sunshine Get summer started early at San Diego’s Kona Kai Resort & Spa, which is offering $50 to $200 in resort credit on multinight stays. Four nights in a waterfront suite in early May start at $314 a night. Book by April 30. African adventure Book now to save $1,868 per couple on a late-2018 nineday land-and-cruise voyage down the rivers and through the national parks of South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, and Zimbabwe. The CroisiEurope cruise starts at $6,033 a person. (845) 687-0736 resortkonakai.com croisieurope.com THE WEEK April 13, 2018 Best properties on the market 28 This week: St. Augustine, Fla. WLincolnville Steps from Maria Sanchez Lake, this two- bedroom home is a short walk to downtown St. Augustine. There are two master bedroom suites, plus room for guests in a lofted area under high, exposed-beam ceilings. Wood floors run through the open plan downstairs. A screened porch offers lake views, and a deck is adjacent to the “Chelsea Leaning Tree,” which helped inspire the house. $875,000. Brittany Haslett, Coldwell Banker Premier Properties, (904) 826-9518 St. Augustine Florida XHistoric Downtown This three-bedroom house, built in 1910, lies along a brick-lined street a block from town. Renovated in 2013, the home features refinished wood floors, stained-glass windows, wood built-ins, and a kitchen with an eat-in island. The master suite has a screened deck, a walk-in closet, and a slate tile bath. Outside are two screened porches and a saltwater pool with a brick-paved deck. $819,900. Stefanie Bernstein, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Florida Network Realty, St. Augustine, (904) 669-5134 XCrescent Beach With a lot almost 700 feet deep and elevated more than 20 feet, this concrete-block, two-story beach home provides water views from most rooms. The three-bedroom house features an open floor plan with walls of glass, exposed rafters, and vaulted ceilings in the main space. There’s a walkway down to the beach, plus an elevated wraparound deck and yard below. $1,500,000. Stefanie Bernstein, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Florida Network Realty, St. Augustine, (904) 669-5134 THE WEEK April 13, 2018 Best properties on the market 29 WNorth Point This seven-bedroom house in a gated community between the Intracoastal Waterway and the Atlantic Ocean has water views from all windows and is walking distance to the beach. Built in 2004, the open-concept home was renovated in 2014 and features hardwood floors throughout, wood-paneled walls and ceilings, and a kitchen with granite counters and Wolf and SubZero appliances. The property includes a tiled pool, gardens, patios with entertainment areas, a dock, and a boat lift. $4,900,000. Jane Chefan, First Coast Sotheby’s International Realty, (904) 731-9770 Steal of the week THistoric Downtown Privacy walls surround this Spanish-style stucco home, built in 1920 and more recently updated. The four-bedroom house includes classical and garden murals, ornate wood cabinets, leaded glass doors, and stained-glass windows. The downstairs has a screened deck, and upstairs there’s a porch with arched openings. The property features gardens, yards, and a fountain. $1,595,000. Roy Barnes, St. Augustine Realty, (904) 669-1430 SUptown This historic, one-story house near downtown is a frame-vernacular bungalow. Preserved details of the 1927 home include a brick fireplace and wood trim and doors, and the electrical, air-conditioning, roof, kitchen, and baths have been updated. A galley kitchen opens to a dining deck, and a screened patio leads to a fenced, sandy backyard with bamboo patches. $375,000. Janie Coffey, First Coast Sotheby’s International Realty, (904) 525-1008 THE WEEK April 13, 2018 Consumer 30 LEISURE The 2018 Hyundai Kona: What the critics say Autoblog.com Late to the game but ready to play, Hyundai’s first-ever compact crossover looks “well positioned to not just challenge segment leaders, but to win.” The South Korean–built cute ute “ticks all the appropriate boxes,” with an eye-catching design, performance options like a peppy turbo engine and all-wheel drive, plus a huge list of standard conveniences. “We have a feeling we’re going to be seeing lots of new Konas on roads all across the United States.” Car & Driver The Kona is shorter than its rivals, so adults expecting to ride in the second row “will need to remove their legs at the knees.” Still, Hyundai “put great effort into the interior packaging,” and it pays off for the first two in. Up front, there’s “more than enough elbow and shoulder room for anyone this side of a sumo wrestler.” Autoweek The ride is firm, but the Kona feels playful: Optioned with the turbo engine and dualclutch transmission, it’s “downright fun.” Even a stripped-down model comes packed with standard gear, including Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, a rearview camera, and cruise control. Add in Hyundai’s generous warranties and “it gets really difficult to A value-packed compact, from $20,450 find any ways to improve on the Kona as an economical, city-friendly transport that won’t bore drivers to tears.” The best of...women’s rain jackets Lands’ End High Shine Rain Slicker Rains Unisex Jacket This all-grown-up riff on a child’s slicker features oversize details like a chunky zipper and giant patch pockets. The color and cuffed sleeves add sophistication. Embrace your inner Paddington Bear with a yellow slicker from an “of-the-moment” Danish brand. This simple cover-up has a fishtail hem, snap closures, and adjustable hood. $129, landsend.com Source: Redbook $110, us.rains.com Source: InStyle Marc New York Teri Jacket Hunter Original Vinyl Smock North Face Venture Jacket Some jackets camoulage your shape. With its nipped-in waist, this one will accentuate it, while the translucent nylon fabric reveals a bit of what lies beneath. A playful update on a Hunter classic, this translucent coat has a drawstring waist and huge pockets that add an unexpected, whiteon-white graphic edge. This smartly engineered North Face can move seamlessly from a mountain trail to posthike drinks, thanks to its refined styling. It folds down to a small pouch. $49, orchardmile.com Source: Vogue $195, hunterboots.com Source: Vogue $99, thenorthface.com Source: TheWirecutter.com Tip of the week... How to choose quality furniture And for those who have everything... Best apps... For seniors Q‘Real wood’ vs. ‘solid wood’: Furniture makers use a lot of misleading terms, so watch out for them. A phrase like “real wood” or “cherry-colored wood” is often code for a composite material. Look instead for “solid wood” or mention of the particular type of solid wood, with hardwoods preferable to pine or poplar. QThe joinery: “Joinery can be a tip-off to the quality and longevity of a piece of furniture.” The best pieces use dovetail joints and mortise and tenon—wood-on-wood joinery. Look also for drawer guides that prevent drawers from tipping when they’re pulled out. QLeather labels: “Full-grain” leather is the most durable, while “top-grain” leather is softer, because the hide’s tough outer layer has been removed. The term “genuine leather” sometimes refers to “bonded leather,” which is made from ground-up hide bound together with glue. Hate mowing the lawn? “There’s finally a robot that will do it for you.” Meet the Honda Miimo, an automated mower that’s like an outdoor Roomba. Once a Honda representative installs a boundary wire, the mowbot can trim the grass on its own, even returning to its dock when it needs to recharge. The Miimo is designed to run frequently, trimming just a little with each pass and leaving behind light clippings that reintegrate into the lawn and act as fertilizer. Two models are available—one that can mow a half-acre between charges and another that covers three-quarters of an acre. From $2,499, Honda.com QOurTime is a popular dating site and app for people over 50. Don’t worry—users don’t have to meet anyone in person if they don’t want to. ($12 for six months) QSilvernest makes it easy to monetize an empty bedroom by finding and screening potential housemates. ($30 for 90 days) QMedisafe Pill Reminder keeps track of pill regimens, simplifies scheduling, and reminds the user if a dosage has been missed. It can send alerts to the user or to a friend or family member. The free app can also track blood pressure, blood glucose, and other measurements, providing reports that can be sent to a doctor in advance of a visit. QMagnifier is a little-known feature built into iPhones that can turn the camera lens into a magnifying glass. Turn it on by opening Settings, choosing General, then Accessibility, then Magnifier. To use it, just triple-tap the Home button. Source: The Associated Press Source: CNET.com Source: Wired.com THE WEEK April 13, 2018 BUSINESS The news at a glance The bottom line QThere is a pronounced worker shortage in the Midwest. The 12-state region is the only area of the country where available jobs outnumber out-of-work job seekers. If every unemployed person in the region were hired today, there would still be more than 180,000 unfilled positions, according to the most recent Labor Department data. The Wall Street Journal QInvestors in defaulted Puerto Rico bonds have been stunned by 95 percent gains in recent weeks. The muchmaligned bonds sank to a mere 20.8 cents on the dollar back in December, but soared to a high of 45 cents last week. Reports that the island may emerge from devastating hurricanes with more money on hand than anticipated has prompted creditors to bet there will be better debt-restructuring terms. Bloomberg.com QThe portion of Americans over age 65 who were employed, full-time or part-time, climbed steadily from 12.8 percent in 2000 to 18.8 percent in 2016. More than half in 2016 were working full-time. The New York Times QBig Tech stocks have been hammered this week by bad news, including concerns over Facebook’s data policies and President Trump’s fixation on Amazon. On Monday alone, Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix, and Google parent Alphabet collectively lost $78.7 billion in market value. Newscom (2) The Wall Street Journal QMall vacancies nationwide have hit a six-year high, with retail leasing and construction in the first quarter unusually low. The vacancy rate climbed to 8.4 percent in the first quarter of 2018, the highest since 2012. Credit Suisse said last year that a quarter of the nation’s roughly 1,200 malls are at risk of closing by 2022, fueled by the rise of e-commerce. St. Louis Post-Dispatch 31 Global trade: U.S.-China trade war heats up The trade dispute with China The trade spat between China and “is already shaking up U.S. polithe U.S. escalated dramatically this tics,” said Michael Scherer in The week, as tit-for-tat tariffs tanked Washington Post. Beijing this global markets and threatened to raise week formally imposed $3 bilprices for American consumers, said lion in tariffs on American pork, Lingling Wei and Yoko Kubota in The almonds, aluminum pipes, and Wall Street Journal. Hours after the other goods, in a response to the Trump administration announced a earlier tariffs President Trump 25 percent tariff on about $50 billion slapped on foreign steel and aluworth of imported Chinese goods, minum. Many of the products including flat-screen TVs, medical targeted by the tariffs are prodevices, and aircraft parts, China hit duced in rural and industrial areas back, announcing its own tariffs on $50 billion worth of “high-profile” Imported soybeans in China that voted for Trump. The tariffs’ threat to local economies in places U.S. products, including soybeans, such as Iowa, California’s Central Valley, and cars, and some airplanes. “Neither the U.S. nor Chinese tariffs take effect immediately,” but global parts of Washington state could put Republican House seats “in jeopardy” come November. markets sank on fears of an all-out trade war. Markets: Spotify is a hit on Wall Street Spotify “roared onto the public market” this week, said Maureen Farrell in The Wall Street Journal. Shares of the music-streaming giant began trading Tuesday on the New York Stock Exchange, closing their first day of trading at just over $149 a share, “well above” Spotify’s highest private-market trading levels. The debut gave the firm a market value of $26.5 billion. Spotify pursued a direct listing, an “unusual” move that involves offering shares to the public without the help of Wall Street underwriters, saving the company tens of millions of dollars in fees. Health: Walmart and Humana in partnership talks Walmart and Humana “are exploring ways to strengthen their ties,” said Michael Corkery in The New York Times. The retail colossus and the health insurance giant are in talks about how to partner to better provide health care to consumers and prevent illness. The alliance, which would likely stop short of a merger, would aim to increase foot traffic in Walmart stores and enrollment in Humana’s insurance programs. The talks are “the latest sign of the disruptive pressure” that is driving new partnerships in the health-care and retail industries, with Amazon’s likely entry into the prescription-drug market as a backdrop. Retail: Data breach at Lord & Taylor, Saks stores “Shoppers at Lord & Taylor, Saks Fifth Avenue, and Saks Off 5th stores could have gotten more than they bargained for,” said Lorie Konish in CNBC.com. Hudson’s Bay Co., the Canadian parent company of the department stores, revealed this week that it was hit with a data breach affecting up to 5 million cardholders. “Hackers have reportedly been selling the compromised information, which they began stealing in May, on the dark web.” The intrusion involved card payments made within North American stores; the company says its e-commerce operations were likely unaffected. Tech: Apple to make its own Mac chips Apple is making a significant change under the hood of its Mac computers, said Ian King and Mark Gurman in Bloomberg.com. The computing giant plans to use its own chips in Macs as early as 2020, as part of a strategy to get Apple devices such as iPads, laptops, and iPhones to “work more similarly and seamlessly together.” The move “would be a major blow to Intel,” which currently provides the chips that power Macs. Apple provides Intel with about 5 percent of its annual revenue. Money still can’t buy happiness By most measures, the U.S. economy “looks pretty good,” said Heather Long in The Washington Post. GDP growth is on the rise, jobs are plentiful, and inflation is stable. What’s not to like? Plenty, it seems. Americans are “more glum now than they were during the Great Recession,” according to the Gallup-Sharecare Well-Being Index. “In a surprise to the researchers,” 2017 turned out to be the worst year for well-being since 2008. Twenty-one states had “statistically significant declines” in well-being compared with 2016. People are “not content in their jobs and relationships,” with many blaming “politics and polarization” for feelings of “anxiety and bitterness toward work colleagues and family.” Even with a growing economy, financial fears haven’t dissipated. In a poll by Chapman University, half of respondents said one of their top fears is “not having enough money for the future.” THE WEEK April 13, 2018 Making money 32 BUSINESS Autos: Time to buy a new car? value within 12 months, so “buy“Americans love their cars,” said ing new makes more sense.” If you Michelle Singletary in The Washingdo buy, “being flexible on a few ton Post. So much so, we’re willing fronts can save you money,” said to go “in and out of debt” for them. Gina Ragusa in Mic.com. Shop Prices for new cars have climbed more comparable models and styles at than 10 percent in the past five years, both used-car lots and new-car hitting an average $35,176 in 2017. dealerships, and be sure to check Those higher prices suggest that newyour preferred model’s depreciation car buyers are still willing to pay “top history. Just opting for a more basic dollar” for vehicles with the latest feastyle or even a different color can tures and cutting-edge technology. But shave thousands of dollars from those same prices are also convincing your final costs. many consumers to hold on to their older vehicles. The average length of ownership was a record 79.3 months Buying new is advisable for some models that retain value. Begin your shopping by figuring out exactly how much you can afford— at the end of 2015. So when should and stick to that figure, said Phil LeBeau in CNBC.com. Auto you replace your car? Convention suggests you should upgrade debt reached record levels last year, as Americans not only paid if any single repair cost exceeds the car’s current market value. more for their cars but also took longer than ever to pay them But I think this rule “is shortsighted.” For older cars in particuoff. The average new-car loan last year was “an all-time high” lar, you need to look “at more than just the Kelley Blue Book value.” Consider all the replacement costs, “including insurance, $31,099 with a $515 monthly payment. For used cars, it was also a record: $19,589 with a $371 monthly payment. Rememtaxes on the purchase, and interest if you have to get a loan.” ber: Dealers don’t care “if you can’t afford your car,” said Tom McPharland in Jalopnik.com. Part of their business “depends on It was once “an article of faith” among car shoppers that buydesperate people with poor math skills.” So carefully examine ing used was a “way better deal” than buying new, said Jerry dealership reviews online and steer clear of those accused of Edgerton in CBSNews.com. “After all, new cars suffer on av“predatory” sales practices. Don’t be afraid to ask for time to erage a 27 percent depreciation in value their first year.” But truly understand the terms of sale. And always be prepared to today some SUVs and pickups, including trucks from Jeep, “walk away if it’s a bad deal.” Honda, and Toyota, lose less than 15 percent of their purchase What the experts say Maintaining a high credit score “can pay off in perks,” said Shawn Carter in CNBC.com. A score above 700 is considered good, but if you can nurse it over 740, you’ll likely find many deals worth taking advantage of. Begin by “negotiating your interest rates.” Credit card companies typically charge interest rates of more than 16 percent, but a sturdy record of paying your bills on time and using your credit responsibly can lead to lower interest and annual percentage rates. It might also be time to shop for car insurance; you might be able to get a premium rate reduction with an impressive score. Finally, consider refinancing your home. A score of 740 and above could get you substantially lower interest rates. Filing for a tax extension Perhaps you’re waiting on a misplaced W-2 form “or maybe you’re just procrastinating,” said Anna Bahney in CNN.com. With the Internal Revenue Service’s tax day deadline of April 17 fast approaching, you may need to file for an extension on your 2017 return. The good news: The process is straightforward. Simply fill out and return form 4868, which is available on the IRS website, and the IRS will automatically grant you an extension though THE WEEK April 13, 2018 Charity of the week Oct. 15. But while the extension gives you more time to fill in your paperwork, it does not provide extra time on paying your taxes. You must typically pay at least 90 percent of what you are likely to owe by April 17 to avoid late payment fees. The real cost of a hospital visit “When you get really sick, the medical bills may not be your biggest financial shock,” said Margot Sanger-Katz in The New York Times. MIT researchers say that for a significant portion of Americans, “a trip to the hospital can mean a permanent reduction in income.” On average “people in their 50s who are admitted to the hospital will experience a 20 percent drop in income that persists for years,” according to the research. Even those with insurance are not immune. Researchers followed people who had been admitted for a wide variety of ailments, from heart attacks to pneumonia to car accident injuries. Uninsured people owed the hospital an average of $6,000, compared with only $300 for those with insurance. “But the average decline in income for both groups was much larger—an average earnings hit of $11,000 by the third year.” Many people struggled to transition back to work or were “knocked off their career trajectories.” Global unemployment rates among youth are on the rise, with 71 million young people around the world without a job. To help lift youth out of poverty, EMpower (empowerweb.org) strategically invests in local organizations across Asia, Africa, and Latin America that are working to improve the livelihood, health, or education of local at-risk youth. In addition to offering financial assistance, the charity provides technical support to facilitate its partner organizations’ impact and growth. In northern Ghana, where nearly 50 percent of the youth are unemployed, EMpower has partnered with Urbanet to teach young people financial and agricultural skills. EMpower’s grant has so far supported the training of scores of Ghanaians in making shea butter and setting up distribution businesses to secure their livelihoods. Each charity we feature has earned a four-star overall rating from Charity Navigator, which rates not-for-profit organizations on the strength of their finances, their governance practices, and the transparency of their operations. Four stars is the group’s highest rating. Newscom The perks of a high credit score Best columns: Business 34 Politics: Trump declares war on Amazon Private equity’s bad optics Jared Dillian Bloomberg.com How to judge the corporate tax cuts Justin Wolfers The New York Times THE WEEK April 13, 2018 With the bankruptcy of accessories retailer Claire’s, it may “only be a matter of time before popular opinion turns against the world of private equity,” said Jared Dillian. Claire’s failed largely because of its 2007 leveraged buyout; in these “debt-laden deals,” private equity groups buy a company on borrowed money and then try to make it more efficient, with the aim of selling it at a profit—all the while extracting handsome fees. Sometimes it works, but a “growing” number of purchased companies are collapsing under the “staggering” amount of debt that is shifted onto them. That’s what happened with Claire’s, which had been burdened with a $2.2 billion debt. It’s also what happened last month with Toys R Us, which was unable to manage the $400 million in annual debt payments from its 2005 leveraged buyout. More of these bankruptcies are coming—and with them, job losses for workers. The optics of that won’t be good; Leon Black, the head of Apollo Global Management, which oversaw the Claire’s buyout, took home $191.3 million last year. If more companies start to go belly up for no other reason than “vulture capitalists” loading them with debt, “private equity may not be able to survive the onslaught” of public criticism that will ensue. President Trump’s critics argue that a surge in stock buybacks indicates that companies aren’t spending their tax cut savings on “anything useful like new investments,” said Justin Wolfers. But how corporations spend their windfalls doesn’t actually tell us much about “whether the tax cuts were a good idea.” The mistake is thinking that companies make investments only when they have cash on hand. Access to cash isn’t an impediment for most firms, though; what they lack are good investment ideas. If a firm has a profitable investment opportunity, it can almost always get financing to pursue it. What’s happening now is that the corporate tax cuts have showered money on firms “indiscriminately,” and many have “no idea” how to spend it. So they return the money to shareholders. What comes next is what matters to judging the tax cuts’ usefulness. In the happier scenario, investors use their buyback money to channel funds into firms with bright futures; “investment rises and the economy grows more rapidly.” But in the darker scenario, profitable investment opportunities remain scarce or interest rates go up quickly—both of which render the tax cuts “a bust.” Either way, buybacks happen. It’s only when shareholders find useful outlets for their money that tax reform truly makes sense. Right now, “it’s simply too early to tell.” Getty 45 states that have one. Trump’s right It’s been a “remarkable use of the about one thing, though: “Amazon is presidential bully pulpit,” said Mimuch too big,” said Damon Linker chael Shear in The New York Times. in TheWeek.com. And its exponenFor much of the past week, President tial growth, from modest bookseller Trump has aggressively attacked to $700 billion juggernaut, “has Amazon, labeling the nation’s largest been greatly aided by its avoidance e-retailer a “tax cheat and a job killer” of taxes.” To this day, third-party and accusing it of profiting at the exvendors on the site often do not pense of the U.S. Postal Service. Amacollect sales tax, and last year, Amazon “pays little or no taxes to state & zon reportedly paid zero dollars in local governments,” Trump said in one federal taxes. It has undeniably used tweet, adding that it “uses our Postal its massive size to ruthlessly squeeze System as their Delivery Boy (causing A postal worker sorting Amazon packages competitors. Liberals never want to tremendous loss to the U.S.)” and has give Trump an inch. But it’s shocking they’ve become “obsequious put “thousands” of retailers out of business. People close to the defenders” of such a rapacious company in the process. president say he is “obsessed” with Amazon and has hinted that he wants to “use the power of his office” to rein it in. That possibility has “spooked investors,” tanking Amazon’s market value by Spare me, said Rich Lowry in the NationalReview.com. “There about $75 billion. The president’s war “is personal,” said Gabriel are many scourges in American life. Amazon isn’t one of them.” Its rise has been a boon for consumers, offering more choice Sherman in VanityFair.com. He believes that Amazon founder and convenience at a lower cost. Yes, Amazon can be “sharpJeff Bezos, who separately owns The Washington Post, uses that elbowed and aggressive,” but nobody “is forced to buy from it.” paper’s coverage “as a political weapon” against him. It doesn’t matter that Bezos has no newsroom involvement. The president is What’s shocking is that the president would harass such a classic intent on causing “further damage” to Amazon, perhaps by pres- “capitalist success story.” It’s tempting to chalk up these attacks to Trump just being Trump, said Yascha Mounk in Slate.com. suring the Post Office to increase the company’s shipping costs. But that would be a dangerous miscalculation. For an economy to grow at its full potential, “economic rather than political facts It’s simply “not true” that Amazon is killing the Post Office, said Lisa Marie Segarra in Fortune.com. No less an authority than the need to determine which companies thrive.” That’s not possible when a would-be strongman “can punish corporations at will,” Postal Service itself has said it profits from delivering the company’s parcels, especially as revenue from first-class mail has shrunk especially when it’s an attempt to curb negative coverage of him. Trump’s Amazon rants are a “political scandal of the first dramatically in the internet age. Nor is it accurate that Amazon dodges taxes; it now collects a sales tax on its own products in all order”—and should be treated as such. Obituaries The civil rights icon who helped desegregate schools In September 1950, Linda Brown and her father walked a few 1943–2018 blocks from their house in Topeka to Sumner elementary school. Because Sumner didn’t accept black children, 7-year-old Linda had been attending a school in a black neighborhood, a long walk and a bus ride away. “I didn’t comprehend color of skin,” she said. “I only knew that I wanted to go to Sumner.” The segregated school turned her away—and Brown’s father joined a lawsuit against the city brought by the NAACP. That suit became Brown v. Board of Education, the landmark 1954 Supreme Court case that ended with the prevailing doctrine of “separate but equal” schooling being ruled unconstitutional. Separating black children from their peers, the unanimous ruling declared, “generates a feeling of inferiority [that] may affect their hearts and minds in a way unlikely ever to be undone.” Linda Brown Born in Topeka, Brown grew up in an integrated neighborhood where she played “with children of all races,” said The Washington Post. Her father, a welder and an assistant minister at a Methodist Episcopal church, was one of 13 black parents encouraged by the NAACP to try to enroll their children in the city’s all-white schools. “Packaged together” with suits challenging school segregation in other states, their case was successfully argued by attorney Thurgood Marshall, who later became the first black Supreme Court justice. The Supreme Court’s historic ruling “paved the way for a gradual and sometimes violent integration of schools and other public facilities” across the nation. But Brown “never got the chance to attend Sumner,” said NPR.org. When the decision was handed down, she was already attending an integrated middle school. It was only in high school, while discussing segregation in history class, that she appreciated the magnitude of the case. “I thought, ‘Gee, some day I might be in history books.’” After graduating, Brown “became an educational consultant and public speaker,” said The New York Times. Her family was among those that reopened the Brown case in 1979, “to argue that the job of integration in Topeka remained incomplete,” and on the 40th anniversary of the Supreme Court decision she lamented that segregation still existed. “The struggle,” she said, “has to continue.” As for her role in the landmark case, Brown came to embrace it. “Sometimes it’s a hassle,” she said, “but it’s still an honor.” The cop show pioneer who shook up TV drama Until the 1980s, TV police shows were mostly one-dimensional 1943–2018 affairs. They tended to focus on only one detective—think Columbo or Kojak—and rarely delved into characters’ personal lives. Steven Bochco changed that. With hits such as Hill Street Blues (1981–1987) and NYPD Blue (1993–2005), the prolific producer brought realism to cop dramas. His shows had ensemble casts of fully fleshed-out main characters, flaws and all; investigations that spread across several episodes, not just one; and plenty of violence, swearing, and nudity. Viewers loved Bochco’s approach, which would inspire bingeable TV dramas such as ER, The Sopranos, and The Wire. “The idea of almost every other cop show was that the private lives of these folks was what happened the other 23 hours of the day that you weren’t watching them,” Bochco said. “We turned that inside out.” AP, Newscom Steven Bochco Born in New York City, Bochco studied theater in college, said CNN.com. He started his career as a writer at Universal Studios—he helped write the script for the introductory episode of Columbo— before switching to production. His big break came at NBC with Hill Street Blues, set in a police station in a large unnamed city. After a slow start, the show became a massive hit, winning a “slew of Emmys.” In 1986, Bochco “applied his trademark method to courtrooms” with the legal drama L.A. Law, said The New York Times. The following year, ABC “lured him away” with an unprecedented $50 million, 10-series deal. Of those shows, the biggest success was NYPD Blue, which “pushed the boundaries of onscreen vulgarity and nudity.” Its first episode was boycotted by most major advertisers and more than a quarter of ABC’s affiliates. But NYPD Blue “survived the backlash” and became the network’s longestrunning drama. Bochco’s other ABC hits included Doogie Howser, M.D., a comedy-drama about a teenage doctor, and the legal drama Murder One. Bochco was “an innovator even in failure,” said the Los Angeles Times. Cop Rock, a short-lived 1990 musical series featuring singing and dancing LAPD officers, proved a “precursor to shows such as Glee.” Bochco was proud of his impact on TV. Hill Street Blues “expanded the drama form and the medium,” he said. “Lots of shows that came behind us might not have had the same success if we had not broken through.” 35 The towering slugger who became ‘Le Grand Orange’ When Rusty Staub was traded from Houston to play first base for the newly created Montreal Expos in 1969, the 6-foot-2 ballplayer instantly stood out Rusty on a mostly Staub dismal team. 1944–2018 The burly, redheaded Staub hit .302 with 29 homers his first season and was the lone All-Star on the 110-loss Expos. After he hit a two-run homer and made a game-ending catch that broke the team’s 20-game losing streak, a Montreal sportswriter dubbed him “Le Grand Orange.” The name stuck with Staub the rest of his life. “Whatever Le Grand Orange represented to Montreal and all those fans,” he said, “they knew I cared and I tried.” Born in New Orleans, Staub was a “teenage phenomenon,” said The Washington Post. He made his debut with the Houston Colt .45s (later the Astros) in 1963 and developed “into one of the team’s premier players, hitting a career-best .333 in 1967.” After playing in Montreal, he was traded to the New York Mets in 1972. Le Grand Orange soon became a fan favorite in the Big Apple, belting three home runs in the Mets’ fivegame victory over the heavily favored Cincinnati Reds in the 1973 National League Championship Series. Staub was traded to the Detroit Tigers in 1975 and returned to the Mets in 1981, said The New York Times. He retired after the 1985 season and remains the only player to smack 500 hits each for four different teams— recording 2,716 career hits in all. Staub dedicated his post-baseball life to charity, supporting Catholic food pantries and creating the New York Police and Fire Widows’ and Children’s Benefit Fund. The organization raised more than $100 million after the 9/11 attacks. “You want to get money to the widows and children?” Staub said. “We’re the ones.” THE WEEK April 13, 2018 The last word 36 Why you forget most of what you read The ‘forgetting curve’ is steepest in the first 24 hours after you learn something, said writer Julie Beck. But in the internet age, memories seem to flee our minds much faster. P AMELA PAUL’S memories of reading are less about words and more about the experience. “I almost always remember where I was and I remember the book itself. I remember the physical object,” says Paul, the editor of The New York Times Book Review, who reads, it is fair to say, a lot of books. “I remember the edition; I remember the cover; I usually remember where I bought it, or who gave it to me. What I don’t remember—and it’s terrible—is everything else.” For example, Paul told me, she recently finished reading Walter Isaacson’s biography of Benjamin Franklin. “While I read that book, I knew not everything there was to know about Ben Franklin, but much of it, and I knew the general time line of the American Revolution,” she says. “Right now, two days later, I probably could not give you the time line of the American Revolution.” Research has shown that the internet functions as a sort of externalized memory. “When people expect to have future access to information, they have lower rates of recall of the information itself,” as one study puts it. But even before the internet existed, entertainment products served as externalized memories for themselves. You don’t need to remember a quote from a book if you can just look it up. Once videotapes came along, you could review a movie or TV show fairly easily. There’s not a sense that if you don’t burn a piece of culture into your brain, it will be lost forever. With its streaming services and Wikipedia If you want to better remember the things you watch and read, space them out. articles, the internet has lowered the stakes on you with a fraction of what you took in. remembering the culture we consume even Surely some people can read a book or further. But it’s hardly as if we remembered watch a movie once and retain the plot per- Presumably, memory has always been like it all before. fectly. But for many, the experience of con- this. But Jared Horvath, a research fellow suming culture is like filling up a bathtub, at the University of Melbourne, says that LATO WAS A famous early curmudsoaking in it, and then watching the water the way people now consume information geon when it came to the dangers of run down the drain. It might leave a film in and entertainment has changed what type externalizing memory. In the dialogue the tub, but the rest is gone. of memory we value—and it’s not the kind Plato wrote between Socrates and the that helps you hold on to the plot of a “Memory generally has a very intrinsic aristocrat Phaedrus, Socrates tells a story movie you saw six months ago. limitation,” says Faria Sana, an assistant about the god Theuth discovering “the use professor of psychology at Athabasca of letters.” The Egyptian king Thamus says In the internet age, recall memory—the University, in Canada. “It’s essentially a to Theuth: ability to spontaneously call information bottleneck.” up in your mind—has become less neces“This discovery of yours will create forgetsary. It’s still good for bar trivia, or rememThe “forgetting curve,” as it’s called, is fulness in the learners’ souls, because they bering your to-do list, but largely, Horvath steepest during the first 24 hours after you will not use their memories; they will trust says, what’s called recognition memory is learn something. Exactly how much you to the external written characters and not more important. “So long as you know forget, percentage-wise, varies, but unless remember of themselves.” where that information is at and how to you review the material, much of it slips access it, then you don’t really need to down the drain after the first day, with (Of course, Plato’s ideas are only accessible recall it,” he says. more to follow in the days after, leaving to us today because he wrote them down.) THE WEEK April 13, 2018 Gallery Stock, Newscom, Getty P The last word “[In the dialogue] Socrates hates writing because he thinks it’s going to kill memory,” Horvath says. “And he’s right. Writing absolutely killed memory. But think of all the incredible things we got because of writing. I wouldn’t trade writing for a better recall memory, ever.” Perhaps the internet offers a similar tradeoff: You can access and consume as much information and entertainment as you want, but you won’t retain most of it. Getty, Gallery Stock, Getty It’s true that people often shove more into their brains than they can possibly hold. Last year, Horvath and his colleagues at the University of Melbourne found that those who binge-watched TV shows forgot the content of them much more quickly than people who watched one episode a week. Right after finishing the show, the binge-watchers scored the highest on a quiz about it, but after 140 days, they scored lower than the weekly viewers. They also reported enjoying the show less than did people who watched it once a day, or weekly. syllabus would have us read only three chapters a week, but there was a good reason for that. Memories get reinforced the more you recall them, Horvath says. If you read a book all in one stretch—on an airplane, say—you’re just holding the story in your working memory that whole time. “You’re never actually reaccessing it,” he says. 37 up—perhaps a pre-episode “Previously on Gilmore Girls” recap, or a conversation with a friend about a book you’ve both read. Memory is “all associations, essentially,” Sana says. That may explain why Paul and others remember the context in which they read a book without remembering its contents. Paul has kept a “book of books,” or “Bob,” since she was in high school—an analog form of externalized memory—in which she writes down every book she reads. “Bob offers immediate access to where I’ve been, psychologically and geographically, at any given moment in my life,” she explains in My Life With Bob, a book she wrote about her book of books. “Each entry conjures a memory that may have otherwise gotten lost or blurred with time.” In a piece for The New Yorker called “The Curse of Reading and Forgetting,” Ian Crouch writes, “Reading has many facets, one of which might be the rather indescribable, and naturally fleeting, mix of thought and emotion and sensory manipulations that happen in the moment and then fade. How much of reading, then, is just a kind of narcissism—a marker of who you were and what you were thinking when you encountered a text?” People are bingeing on the written word too. In 2009, the average American encountered 100,000 words a day, even if they didn’t To me, it doesn’t seem like “read” all of them. It’s hard The way people consume information today has changed how we remember. narcissism to remember life’s to imagine that’s decreased seasons by the art that filled Sana says that often when we read, there’s in the nine years since. In “Binge-Reading them—the spring of romance novels, the a false “feeling of fluency.” The informaDisorder,” an article for the indepenwinter of true crime. But it’s true enough tion is flowing in, we’re understanding it, dent web magazine The Morning News, that if you consume culture in hopes of it seems like it is smoothly collating itself Nikkitha Bakshani analyzes the meaning building a mental library that can be into a binder to be slotted onto the shelves of this statistic. “‘Reading’ is a nuanced referred to at any time, you’re likely to be of our brains. “But it actually doesn’t stick disappointed. word,” she writes, “but the most comunless you put effort into it and concenmon kind of reading is likely reading as Books, shows, movies, and songs aren’t trate and engage in certain strategies that consumption: where we read, especially files we upload to our brains—they’re part on the internet, merely to acquire informa- will help you remember.” of the tapestry of life, woven in with everytion. Information that stands no chance of People might do that when they study, thing else. From a distance, it may become becoming knowledge unless it ‘sticks.’” or read something for work, but it seems harder to see a single thread clearly, but it’s Or as Horvath puts it: “It’s the momentary unlikely that in their leisure time they’re still in there. going to take notes on Gilmore Girls to giggle and then you want another giggle. It’s not about actually learning anything. It’s quiz themselves later. “You could be seeing “It’d be really cool if memories were just clean—information comes in and now you and hearing, but you might not be noticabout getting a momentary experience to have a memory for that fact,” Horvath says. ing and listening,” Sana says. “Which is, I feel as though you’ve learned something.” “But in truth, all memories are everything.” think, most of the time what we do.” The lesson from his binge-watching study is that if you want to remember the things you Still, not all memories that wander are lost. watch and read, space them out. I used to Some of them may just be lurking, inacces- Originally published in TheAtlantic.com. get irritated in school when an English-class sible, until the right cue pops them back Reprinted with permission. THE WEEK April 13, 2018 The Puzzle Page Crossword No. 451: Give ’Em the Reboot by Matt Gaffney 1 2 3 4 5 6 17 21 29 35 The Week Contest 13 27 36 42 37 47 48 54 49 50 66 THIRD PLACE: “Dead Man Balking” 51 56 61 57 67 69 70 71 72 73 THE WEEK April 13, 2018 58 62 68 ACROSS 1 Rockwell who won Best Supporting Actor last month 4 Renaissance festival figure 8 Smeared 14 Alex and ___ (jewelry company) 15 Decant 16 Breathe out 17 Sitcom that ended its initial run in 1997, but rebooted in March to extremely high ratings 19 Piano session, often 20 Jane who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1931 21 Home to GWB’s presidential library 23 Suitable 24 Will name 25 Spooky show whose six-episode 2016 reboot began 14 years after the original story ended 28 Dickinson in Rio Bravo 31 Stand diagonally 32 Animal with outstanding night vision 34 Coconut and sesame, for two 36 Cut 40 Classic 1950s–’60s show that’s rumored to be getting a reboot this fall from Jordan Peele 44 “Same with me!” 45 Ruth of diamonds 46 “___ be an honor!” 47 Name that’s also Italian for “eight” 50 Gin partner 52 Sitcom that added an “-er” to its first word for its 2016 reboot 56 Staff note 59 Govt. arm with “mold” and “radon” sections on its website 60 Expert 61 Sailor 63 Wahlberg of Blue Bloods 66 1960s spy show with a 1995 reboot featuring its original star 68 Batting next 69 Clutch 70 State between Wash. and Mont. 71 Alternative to Lipton 72 Crocheting material 73 One of two on the head DOWN 1 Hyland of Modern Family 2 Part of a battery 3 Did it wrong, on an old phone 4 Email usually filtered 5 A very long period 6 “Let’s get out of here!” 7 Never having been frozen 8 Of superior quality 9 Friday the 13th prop 10 Hesitant utterances Last week’s contest: A court in Romania has ruled that a 63-year-old man whose wife had him declared legally dead after he spent 10 years abroad remains dead even though he argued in person that he was alive. Please come up with a name for a book on the man’s situation. SECOND PLACE: “Six Feet Blunder” Neil Goudy, Cumming, Ga. 46 60 65 39 This week’s question: Former Vice President Joe Biden recently claimed that if he and President Trump were still in high school, he would have “beat the hell out of him” for disrespecting women; Trump retorted that Biden would “go down hard and fast” in any fight. If Hollywood were to make a boxing movie about two septuagenarian politicians, what would the film be called? THE WINNER: “Plight of the Living Dead” Laurel Rose, Pittsburgh 55 59 38 43 45 44 64 12 31 41 53 11 23 26 30 34 40 63 22 25 24 33 10 19 18 28 9 16 20 52 8 15 14 32 7 11 12 13 18 22 25 26 27 29 30 32 33 35 37 38 39 41 42 43 48 49 51 52 53 54 55 57 58 61 62 64 65 67 ___ metabolism Marry in a hurry Car flaws Bring home Brooks of The Producers Discern Make click, maybe Don Juan’s mother Decide to make the best of Rocky ___ Extra pds. “Can you repeat that name?” Bro or sis Messages Otorhinolaryngologist, briefly Like irritated eyes It gets the job done Ending for a scandal Sex and the City channel Kansas city ___ Man in Havana Mosque boss Got energy from Winning by a slight margin Touches down Damp ___ Gras party Like beer from a keg Commotion NFL Insiders channel Badminton barrier Winter sheet Period Kathy Moore, Middleton, Wis. For runners-up and complete contest rules, please go to theweek.com/contest. How to enter: Submissions should be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include your name, address, and daytime telephone number for verification; this week, type “Old fight” in the subject line. Entries are due by noon, Eastern Time, Tuesday, April 10. Winners will appear on the Puzzle Page next issue and at theweek.com/puzzles on Friday, April 13. In the case of identical or similar entries, the first one received gets credit. W The winner gets a one-year subscription to The Week. Sudoku Fill in all the boxes so that each row, column, and outlined square includes all the numbers from 1 through 9. Difficulty: super-hard Find the solutions to all The Week’s puzzles online: www.theweek.com/puzzle. ©2018. All rights reserved. The Week is a registered trademark owned by the Executors of the Felix Dennis Estate. The Week (ISSN 1533-8304) is published weekly except for one week in each January, July, August and December. The Week is published by The Week Publications, Inc., 55 West 39th Street, New York, NY 10018. Periodicals postage paid at New York, N.Y., and at additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send change of address to The Week, PO Box 62290, Tampa, FL 33662-2290. One-year subscription rates: U.S. $75; Canada $90; all other countries $128 in prepaid U.S. funds. Publications Mail Agreement No. 40031590, Registration No. 140467846. Return Undeliverable Canadian Addresses to P.O. Box 503, RPO West Beaver Creek, Richmond Hill, ON L4B 4R6. The Week is a member of The New York Times News Service, The Washington Post/ Bloomberg News Service, McClatchy-Tribune Information Services, and subscribes to The Associated Press. Sources: A complete list of publications cited in The Week can be found at theweek.com/sources. H M O R S 38 MAGIC APP IN MY HANDS, I FOLLOW YOU UNTIL THE END Beneﬁt from all its features: directions to the airport and boarding gate*, real-time ﬂight information, notiﬁcations related to your ﬂight, boarding pass available at any time… And so much more to discover at airfrance.us MOBILE APP. * At Paris-Charles de Gaulle.