MAIN STORIES WOOING TRUMP ON IRAN TECHNOLOGY The return of low-tech phones p.5 Emmanuel Macron p.20 OBITUARIES The Bush family’s matriarch p.35 THE BEST OF THE U.S. AND INTERNATIONAL MEDIA The big gamble Can Trump really get North Korea’s Kim to give up his nukes? p.4 MAY 4, 2018 VOLUME 18 ISSUE 871 ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT EVERYTHING THAT MATTERS WWW.THEWEEK.COM The view’s better from here. Our lightweight PolarizedPlus2® lenses are as ﬂexible as you are, adapting to different light conditions while eliminating glare and enhancing color. Try on a pair and see for yourself. Color. Clarity. Detail. ©2018 Maui Jim, Inc. Contents 3 Editor’s letter There was much Muggle rejoicing when J.K. Rowling’s boy wizard made his Broadway debut this week. Critics and fans raved about the spellbinding special effects in Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, set 19 years after Harry defeated Voldemort, and how the show extends Rowling’s magical tale. (See Film & Stage.) Yet for all that applause, it’s hard not to see this latest Potter installment as proof that pop culture is running low on ideas. All that’s left to scrape from the story barrel, it seems, are sequels, spin-offs, and revivals. Fifteen of last year’s 20 biggest films—including Star Wars: The Last Jedi and Wonder Woman—were sequels or relaunches. And at least 43 of this year’s box office releases are reboots or follow-ons, among them Avengers: Infinity War—the 19th (19th!) film in the Marvel superhero series. Roseanne and Lost in Space recently returned to our TVs, and Amazon is now working on a five-season Lord of the Rings show, presumably to satisfy Hobbit huggers who thought the 10-hour movie trilogy wasn’t quite long enough. All this recycling makes financial sense for entertainment executives. They know that in a competitive marketplace, consumers will typically pick a brand they’re familiar with over something new, whether it’s dish soap or a movie. And for audiences, this cultural regurgitation can be a source of comfort in an age of uncertainty and deep political division. Bombarded with news of turmoil in Washington, terrorist atrocities, and mass shootings, it’s understandable that many people retreat to predictable fantasy worlds like Star Wars—where the light and dark sides of The Force have been doing battle for 40 years—or the Marvel Universe, where the superheroes of their childhood comic books are still vanquishing villains. But leave the theater or turn off the TV, and the real world—where the plotlines are always messy and reboots are rarely allowed—is still there. Theunis Bates NEWS 4 Main stories North Korea’s offer to denuclearize; French President Emmanuel Macron talks Iran in Washington; Trump bulks up his legal team 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 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 Can Starbucks overcome racial bias through employee training? EVP, publisher: John Guehl 7 The U.S. at a glance Trump’s VA nominee struggles; shooting spree at a Tennessee Waffle House 8 The world at a glance Britain welcomes a new royal baby; Natalie Portman angers Israel 10 People Iggy Azalea on being hiphop’s most hated woman; Spain’s real-life Mowgli 11 Briefing Is Trump right that there’s “no evidence” that his campaign colluded with Moscow? AP (2) 12 Best U.S. columns Democrats discover states’ rights; Trump’s immigration bully squad 14 Best European columns How the Irish border could scuttle Brexit 16 Talking points Nikki Haley’s show of defiance; the Comey memos; will Trump’s longtime “fixer” flip? Managing editor The Trumps welcome the Macrons to the White House. (p.5) ARTS 23 Books The troubles and triumphs of Texas LEISURE 27 Food & Drink A one-pot dish that makes any dinner a party 24 Author of the week A comic writer on his very unexpected Pulitzer 28 Travel Trying to spot Clooney on Italy’s Lake Como 25 Film & Stage Harry Potter and the Cursed Child casts its spell on Broadway 29 Consumer The best box-set gifts for Mother’s Day 26 Television The Karate Kid returns in YouTube’s Cobra Kai BUSINESS 32 News at a glance A search-powered profit surge at Alphabet; Mattel gets another new CEO 33 Making money Budgeting for a four-legged friend 34 Best columns Why oil prices are on the rise; Wells Fargo has been punished enough Iggy Azalea (p.10) Sales development director: Samuel Homburger Account directors: Shelley Adler, Lauren Peterson Account manager: Alison Fernandez Midwest director: Lauren Ross Southeast director: Jana Robinson West Coast directors: James Horan, Rebecca Treadwell Integrated marketing director: Jennifer Freire Integrated marketing managers: Kelly Dyer, Reisa Feigenbaum Marketing design director: Joshua Moore Marketing designer: Triona Moynihan Research and insights manager: Joan Cheung Sales & marketing coordinator: Carla Pacheco-Muevecela 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 May 4, 2018 4 NEWS The main stories... Kim puts denuclearization on the table What happened moon that the U.S. president accepted his offer of head-to-head talks, as it gives him President Trump this week expressed cautious the “legitimacy and prestige” he and his confidence that a planned head-to-head sumregime have always craved. Ultimately, mit with Kim Jong Un will lead to a deal in there’s no way Kim will “willingly divest which North Korea completely surrenders its himself of nuclear weapons,” which he nuclear weapons. The North Korean dictator sees as integral to his personal survival, his announced last week he was shutting down a foreign policy, and his country’s “whole nuclear-testing facility and suspending nuclear self-identity.” Secretary of state nomiand intercontinental ballistic missile tests; he’s nee Mike Pompeo and national security also signaled that he is open to denuclearizaadviser John Bolton probably understand tion if he receives guarantees his regime will that. Does Trump? not be attacked or toppled. Trump said the two countries were having “good discussions,” What the columnists said and praised Kim for being “very honorable.” Kim is playing Trump “like a StradivarBut he warned he would walk away from Kim: Is he serious, or just stalling for time? ius,” said Max Boot in The Washington the summit—loosely scheduled for late May Post. The North Korean dictator knows our president thinks “he or early June—if he felt Kim wasn’t serious about giving up his alone can bring peace to the Korean Peninsula,” and that he’ll nuclear bombs and ICBMs. U.S. officials said the administration seize on any apparent concession by Pyongyang as proof of his favored a “big bang” deal, under which both sides would make dealmaking genius and superiority to previous presidents. So Kim major concessions early on—such as a trade of sanctions relief for is simply “stringing Trump along” with “vague promises he has no Pyongyang in exchange for concrete steps toward the dismantling of the regime’s nuclear program. “We’ll see,” said Trump. “Maybe intention of keeping”—probably to buy more time to perfect his ICBMs’ ability to deliver nuclear payloads to U.S. cities. it will be wonderful or maybe it won’t.” What the editorials said “Little Rocket Man” may have blinked, said the New York Post. Granted, the portly dictator’s good-faith gesture to halt nuclear tests and ICBM launches is “easily reversible.” But the fact that he is also putting out “feelers” about peace, and recently told South Korea he wouldn’t insist on a complete withdrawal of U.S. forces, is cause for encouragement. The U.S. and U.N. sanctions have hit the regime hard, with “factories closed” and “military units stranded without fuel.” While we should be wary of trusting this sinister regime, Pyongyang may be “getting ready to fold.” Don’t be fooled, said The Weekly Standard. Kim must be over the It wasn’t all bad The Kim-Trump negotiations are bound to end in “disaster,” said Fred Kaplan in Slate.com. Trump thinks international politics is like real estate, and is based “on personal relations” between the principals, when it’s actually based on “interests.” It’s not in Kim’s interest to surrender the nukes he and his father have spent decades and billions developing. Yet Trump thinks if he can get in a room with Kim, he’ll talk him into major concessions. When that fails, the embarrassed Trump will resume his “fire and fury” threats. The Kim-Trump summit is “more likely to reframe” the 70-year Korean standoff “than to end it,” said Walter Russell Mead in The Wall Street Journal. Pyongyang will likely accept denuclearization “as a goal,” in exchange for the U.S. lifting some sanctions right away and starting negotiations for a peace treaty. The key is the ICBM program. If Kim agrees to maintain his freeze on missile tests, Trump can “claim a win,” as he will have prevented North Korea from developing nukes that can hit U.S. cities. Critics will no doubt complain that this is more “can-kicking than peacemaking.” But in diplomacy, “sometimes kicking is all you can do.” QAt 95 years old, Canada’s oldest blood donor is happy to keep on giving. Beatrice “Granny Bea” Janyk has been donatQHeavy winds and a freezing downing blood ever since her husband nearly died from a sawmill pour couldn’t stop a cancer survivor accident in the 1940s. She’s given blood more than 200 times from finishing the Boston marathon to no fanfare, but last week Canadian blood services honored last week. Mary Shertenlieb, who has her with a special ceremobeaten leukemia three times in the ny and pin. “Knowing that past five years, was nearly 16 miles I can save someone’s life, into the rain-soaked race when hypothat’s so important,” says thermia took hold and medics recomthe great-grandmother, mended she quit. Her husband, Rich, who takes no medications suggested she warm up at home so her O-positive blood can and finish the remaining miles later be used for children and that night. At 12:18 a.m., the couple infant transfusions. Janyk’s crossed the finish line together. “I message to anyone who’s just burst into tears,” Shertenlieb afraid of giving blood is says. “I never thought I would feel simple: “No pain, 20 minthis happy being in last place!” utes, then you’ll gain.” Granny Bea: Still donating THE WEEK May 4, 2018 QEighteen years ago, Fatima Faruq was too busy raising her newborn son to make it to senior prom. Her son, Nassir, never forgot that she missed out on that special night for his sake, so when senior prom rolled around this year at his Pennsylvania high school, he asked his 36-year-old mom to be his date. Faruq builds military helicopters for a living and normally wears a baseball cap, but for the party put on a glam wig and custommade green gown that matched Nassir’s tuxedo. “I wanted her to feel young again,” says Nassir. “I didn’t want her to miss out.” Illustration by Fred Harper. Cover photos from AP, Nokia (2), AP Newscom (2) Kim was expected to meet this week with South Korean President Moon Jae-in to negotiate a possible peace deal to formally end the Korean War, which was brought to a halt by an armistice in 1953. To show the thaw was real, the two countries set up a telephone hotline between their leaders for the first time, and Seoul turned off the loudspeakers broadcasting propaganda along the border. ... and how they were covered NEWS 5 Macron pitches Trump on new Iran deal What happened What the columnists said After a chummy visit from his favorite world Having wowed Trump last year in Paris with his leader, French President Emmanuel Macron, friendliness, his strong handshake, and a rousing President Trump said this week he would military parade, Macron has more influence with consider a deal to preserve the Iran nuclear the U.S. president than any other leader, said pact if Tehran agreed to new concessions. Robert Malley and Colin Kahl in TheAtlantic Trump hosted Macron for talks and the .com. But that’s still not much. Macron was only in the U.S. for a few days. Iran hawks such as first state dinner of his presidency, and with new national security adviser John Bolton and Macron laying on the flattery, the two apMike Pompeo, the likely next secretary of state, peared to have forged a warm bond despite can whisper in Trump’s ear whenever they want, differences over trade, climate change, and and push the president to make “an ideologically the 2015 Iran nuclear deal. That deal lifted The new special relationship inspired” decision to kill the Iran deal. sanctions on Iran in return for an end to its uranium enrichment program and constraints on its ability to develop nuclear weapons. Macron’s goal for the visit was to persuade That would be Trump’s most reckless act yet, said USA Today in Trump, who calls the pact “the worst deal ever,” not to unilateran editorial. Negotiated over two years and involving all members ally abandon it on May 12, when the U.S. president must recertify of the United Nations’ Security Council, the complex deal is the Iran’s compliance with the agreement. Macron proposed bolsteronly thing keeping “one of the world’s most threatening regimes ing the deal with an additional pact that would address Trump’s from developing the world’s most terrifying weapons.” If the U.S. concerns: It would restrict Iran’s missile program and its military quits, Iran will resume its nuclear program, sparking “a Middle East actions across the Middle East, and extend the ban on nuclear nuclear arms race” that could lead to a major war. And what incenactivity beyond 2025, when the current deal expires. tive would North Korea have to sign a similar denuclearization deal with a president “who so cavalierly breaks America’s word?” Iranian President Hassan Rouhani denounced the idea, calling Trump a “tradesman” who has “no clue about the law or interYet there’s reason for “cautious optimism,” said Jennifer Rubin in national treaties,” and threatening “severe consequences” for WashingtonPost.com. Accepting Macron’s proposal would allow U.S. withdrawal from the pact. Trump responded with his own Trump to say he’s kept a key campaign promise by making a bad threat—“they will pay a price like few countries have ever paid”— Obama deal much tougher on Iran. Plus, “Trump likes being liked,” and refused to say whether he would ultimately support Macron’s and by staying in the deal he will please both Macron and German proposal. “Nobody,” Trump said, “knows what I’m going to do Chancellor Angela Merkel, also visiting Washington this week. on the 12th.” “Maybe as a reward, Macron could throw him another parade.” Reuters Giuliani seeks end to Russia probe What happened What the columnists said President Trump brought in fresh reinforcements to help him contend with the investigation into Russian election meddling, adding two criminal defense attorneys and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani to his legal team. Giuliani, a former U.S. attorney, told reporters that he hoped to negotiate an end to special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe within weeks “for the good of the country.” Giuliani has known Mueller for three decades—they worked together in the Reagan Justice Department and following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, when Mueller was FBI director. The pair met this week to discuss a discuss a possible presidential interview by the special counsel, although Giuliani cautioned that Trump remained resistant to such an interview. Giuliani’s bluster sounds like “wishful thinking,” said John Cassidy in NewYorker.com. The White House wants to promote the narrative that the Mueller investigation is wrapping up and “the president is largely in the clear.” But Trump’s hiring two experienced criminal defense attorneys in addition to Giuliani suggests that he’s “girding for a lengthy battle.” Even Rosenstein’s assurance that Trump isn’t being personally investigated at this time “doesn’t necessarily mean very much.” The president could become a target at any time, depending on what investigators find. Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein reportedly told President Trump during a White House meeting last week that he isn’t a target of the Russia probe or the investigation into his longtime lawyer Michael Cohen. After that meeting, Trump reportedly told advisers that he sees no immediate need to remove Mueller or Rosenstein, who is overseeing the probe. Nevertheless, questions continued to swirl around Trump’s ties with Russia. Bloomberg .com reported that flight records show Trump stayed overnight in Moscow after a 2013 Miss Universe pageant, contradicting the time line he provided to former FBI Director James Comey. Trump repeatedly told Comey that salacious rumors in the Steele dossier about him partying with Russian prostitutes after the pageant couldn’t be true, because he left for New York the same night. But “the odds of that happening decline by the day,” said Michael Goodwin in the New York Post. After a nearly year-long investigation, Mueller has unearthed no evidence that the president committed a crime. Yet the special counsel seems intent on keeping this probe going endlessly, searching through Trump’s “entire life with a fine-tooth comb” until he finds him guilty of something. That’s why it was refreshing to hear Giuliani effectively say, Wrap it up. Amid all this, America owes Rosenstein and Attorney General Jeff Sessions “a debt of thanks,” said David French in National Review.com. Both men have held firm in the face of withering attacks from a president of their own party to protect the integrity of Mueller’s investigation, with Sessions reportedly telling Trump that he would resign if Rosenstein were fired. “There’s reason to have confidence that the rule of law will prevail, and the political chips will fall where they may.” THE WEEK May 4, 2018 6 NEWS Controversy of the week Starbucks arrests: A case of ‘implicit bias’? it can be to get white people to even acknowlEven in 2018, said Mikki Kendall in edge the reality of implicit bias,” Starbucks’ WashingtonPost.com, blacks and whites live bold stand deserves “a standing ovation.” in two different Americas—“and in one you can get arrested for sitting in a Starbucks.” No, it doesn’t, said Kyle Smith in National The latest proof that racism is alive and well Review.com. Every honest observer knows came last week in a Philadelphia branch of that being black in America is a “burden the ubiquitous coffee chain. Two 23-yearthat you carry with you at all times.” But old black men, Rashon Nelson and Donte the reaction to this single incident has been Robinson, arrived early at Starbucks for a “unhinged.” How does anyone know that business meeting and sat at a table to wait for “implicit bias” caused the manager to ask the a third party. Two minutes later, the manager Nelson, Robinson: Arrested for trespassing two men to leave? What if she was simply came over to ask if they were going to order following Starbucks’ official, if often unenforced, policy on table anything, and when Nelson and Robinson said no, the manager told them to leave. She then called the police, who arrested the pair use by noncustomers? Surely these are questions worth investigating before 170,000 employees are sentenced to re-education camp. for “trespassing” and detained them for eight hours. Cellphone “Implicit bias” is “Orwellian junk science,” said David French, videos of the arrests triggered protests, threatened boycotts, and also in NationalReview.com. Studies show people’s scores on tests public contrition from Starbucks’ upper management. CEO designed to measure unconscious racism change from test to test Kevin Johnson apologized to Nelson and Robinson in person, and have little value in predicting their behavior. There’s also someannounced that the offending manager has been fired, and that thing very creepy about a corporation “attempting not just to cormore than 8,000 Starbucks stores will close on May 29 so that rect its employees’ behavior but to reform their minds.” 170,000 employees can receive “racial-bias education.” That corporate damage-control campaign may save Starbucks’ image, said Fine—let’s stop blaming “implicit bias,” said Shamira Ibrahim Karen Attiah, also in WashingtonPost.com, but let’s be honest. The routine harassment people of color experience in public spaces in NYMag.com. The whole concept only enables white people to dismiss racism as a “mere accident of psychology,” rather than “isn’t a Starbucks problem. It’s an America problem.” a purpose-built system of oppression and double standards that has yet to be dismantled. The fact that this all played out in a Still, Starbucks deserves a lot of credit, said Leonard Pitts Jr. in the Miami Herald. Kevin Johnson and Howard Schultz, the chain’s bil- coffee shop is a grim “irony of ironies,” said Anthony Stanford lionaire founder, could easily have blamed this debacle on the man- in ChicagoTribune.com. During the civil rights movement in the 1950s, blacks were spat on and arrested for trying to order coffee ager and declared the matter resolved by her firing. Instead, both bravely identified the real issue as “implicit bias”—the unconscious, at a Southern lunch counter. How far have we come since those pervasive racism that causes even well-meaning white Americans to shameful days? In the America of 2018, two black men were just view black people as lesser, dangerous Others. “Given how difficult humiliated and arrested for “not ordering a cup of coffee.” QPenn State University has banned its venerable Outing Club from taking outdoor trips, on the ground that they’re too dangerous. The club, founded in 1920, has logged tens of thousands of miles of studentled hiking, canoeing, and camping expeditions. But after an “assessment of risk management,” PSU announced that the club’s activities “are above the university’s threshold of acceptable risk.” QA Massachusetts preschool has banned children from using the term “best friend.” Parent Christine Hartwell says she learned about the ban from her 4-year-old daughter, who’d come home sad from her day at the Pentucket Workshop Preschool. When the Hartwells complained, school officials explained that “best friend,” “even when used in a loving way, can lead other children to feel excluded.” THE WEEK May 4, 2018 Good week for: Primate grooming, when President Trump plucked what he called a speck of “dandruff” from the shoulder of visiting French President Emmanuel Macron. “We have to make him perfect,” said Trump, while Macron grinned awkwardly. Juvenile astronomy jokes, with the announcement by planetary scientists that Uranus smells. The planet’s atmosphere, scientists say, is filled with hydrogen sulfide, the gas that gives rotten eggs and flatulence a distinctive odor. Legal corruption, after Trump administration official Mick Mulvaney urged bank executives to increase their donations to secure favorable legislation. “If you’re a lobbyist who never gave us money, I didn’t talk to you,” Mulvaney said of his own time in Congress. Bad week for: Illegal corruption, after former public employee Gilberto Escamilla, 53, of San Antonio, was sentenced to 50 years in prison, for using taxpayer funds to buy $1.25 million worth of fajitas over nine years, which he resold for profit. “It started small and got bigger and out of control,” Escamilla explained. Leaving the driving to us, when a Greyhound bus left Cleveland bound for New York City and ended up, seven hours later, after a series of wrong turns and mechanical problems, in Toledo, which is in the opposite direction. Smuggling, after a Colorado woman was fined $500 because she took an apple from an in-flight meal into the U.S. The Customs officer “asked me if my trip to Paris was expensive,” said Cynthia Tadlock. “Then he said, ‘It’s about to get a lot more expensive.’” DNC sues over alleged Russian collusion The Democratic National Committee sued the Russian government, the Trump presidential campaign, and WikiLeaks this week, accusing them of an illegal conspiracy to tilt the 2016 election against Hillary Clinton. The lawsuit, filed in a federal district court in Manhattan, alleges that top Trump campaign officials, including Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner, and former campaign manager Paul Manafort, “gleefully” worked with the Kremlin and its military spy agency to spread emails that had been stolen from the DNC’s servers. President Trump is not named as a defendant. If the lawsuit is allowed to proceed, Democrats will have the opportunity through discovery to seek internal documents from the Trump campaign related to Russia. The Trump campaign has called the suit a “sham.” AP (2) Only in America The U.S. at a glance ... AP (3), Newscom Citrus Heights, Calif. ‘Golden State Killer’ arrest: Authorities say they have a suspect in one of the most notorious unsolved cases in American history this week, after arresting a 72-year-old man DeAngelo: Charged they believe is the “Golden State Killer,” a serial rapist and murderer who terrorized California during the 1970s and ’80s. Joseph James DeAngelo, a former police officer, was arrested at his home in Citrus Heights, near Sacramento, and is being held without bail. Police said that they have DNA evidence that links DeAngelo to the string of attacks attributed to the Golden State Killer, also known as the East Area Rapist and the Original Night Stalker. Between 1976 and 1986, the attacker committed 12 murders, 45 rapes, and 120 residential burglaries, often methodically planning attacks on victims in their own homes. “The magnitude of this case demanded that it be solved,” said Sacramento County District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert. “We found the needle in the haystack, and it was right here in Sacramento.” Nashville Waffle House shooting: After a massive search lasting nearly 34 hours, police arrested a 29-year-old man accused of killing four diners and wounding four others with an AR-15 assault rifle at a Waffle House this week. Travis J. Reinking surrendered to authorities in a wooded area about a Reinking mile from the site of the massacre. Reinking opened fire early Sunday morning, naked except for a green jacket, running away after an unarmed customer wrested the weapon away from him. Authorities said Reinking had a history of mental illness and had called himself “a sovereign citizen”—a term used by right-wing extremists. He was arrested in Washington, D.C., last July after entering a restricted area near the White House, telling officers that he needed to meet with President Trump. Local police seized four guns from Reinking in August, turning them over to his father. Reinking’s father said he later returned the seized weapons to his son, including the AR-15 he used in the shooting. New York City Hannity’s empire: Fox News talk show host Sean Hannity has amassed a realestate empire worth at least $90 million that is hidden behind a complex web of shell companies, The Guardian reported this week. Over the past decade, companies linked to Hannity have bought more than 870 homes in seven states, from luxury mansions to low-income rental apartments. Dozens of properties were purchased after banks had foreclosed on their owners in 2013. Other properties were financed with government mortgage guarantees from the Department of Housing and Urban Development during the Obama administration, leading some critics to mock the staunchly conservative host and Trump defender as “Handout Hannity.” “It is ironic that I am being attacked for investing my personal money in communities that badly need such investment,” Hannity said in a statement. He said he doesn’t trust the stock market. Norristown, Pa. Bill Cosby retrial: Jurors began deliberations this week in comedian Bill Cosby’s retrial on sexual assault charges, the first high-profile celebrity court case since the beginning of the #MeToo movement. Cosby’s first trial ended in a mistrial last year after jurors failed to come to a verdict after 52 hours of deliberations. Cosby stands accused of three counts of aggravated sexual assault against former Temple University employee Andrea Constand, who claims the comedian drugged and sexually assaulted her at his home in 2004. Unlike in the previous trial, prosecutors were allowed to call five other witnesses who had accused Cosby of similar assaults. Defense attorneys depicted Constand as “a con artist” motivated by money, while urging jurors to focus on the narrow facts of the case and not connect it to #MeToo. “Bad things definitely happen,” said Cosby lawyer Kathleen Bliss. “But, ladies and gentleman, not every accusation is true.” NEWS 7 Washington, D.C. Travel ban case: The Supreme Court heard arguments on President Trump’s travel ban for the first time this week, with the conservative majority Protesters outside the court appearing to side with the White House. The case, Trump v. Hawaii, concerns the third iteration of Trump’s travel ban issued last fall, which bars most travelers from eight countries from entering the U.S. Of those countries, six have Muslim majorities. Lawyers for the challengers of the federal ban argued that Trump’s campaign promise to ban all Muslims from the U.S. showed that the order was a de facto Muslim ban, violating the Constitution. But Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Anthony Kennedy peppered the challengers with tough questions about why the court should second-guess the president’s national security decisions. Roberts also asked whether there should be “a statute of limitations” on Trump’s campaign rhetoric. Washington, D.C. VA nominee struggles: The White House physician nominated by President Trump to lead the Department of Veterans Affairs refused to drop out of consideration this week despite serious allegations about his professional conduct. The Senate Veterans’ Jackson: In trouble Affairs Committee indefinitely postponed Rear Adm. Ronny Jackson’s nomination after receiving complaints from about 20 current and past employees of the White House medical office that he created a hostile work environment, berated junior employees, handed out sleeping and wakefulness pills to traveling White House staff “like candy,” and drank excessively on foreign trips. Multiple sources told CNN.com that the Secret Service had to intervene when a drunken Jackson started loudly pounding on a female employee’s door in the middle of the night. Trump appeared to suggest that Jackson should bow out to avoid an ugly nomination fight—“What does he need it for?” the president asked—but vowed to back him when Jackson said he wanted to fight the allegations. THE WEEK May 4, 2018 8 NEWS The world at a glance ... London A prince is born: Royal-watchers celebrated this week as Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, gave birth to an 8-pound, 7-ounce baby boy, her third child with Prince William. The couple showed off the baby to the waiting throngs as they left St. Mary’s Hospital Welcome to the Windsors. in the capital only 12 hours after the birth. The name of the baby wasn’t immediately announced, but bookies—who correctly guessed the names of siblings Prince George, 4, and Princess Charlotte, 2—are betting on Arthur, Albert, or Philip. The baby is fifth in line to the throne, and Queen Elizabeth II’s sixth great-grandchild. Prince William said he was “very delighted” about the arrival, adding, “Thrice the worry now.” Liverpool, U.K. Life support battle: British courts ruled this week that the parents of a brain-damaged toddler may not take him to Rome for treatment despite a plea by Pope Francis. Alfie Evans, 23 months old, has been in a Liverpool hospital since December 2016 with a degenerative neurological Alfie’s parents condition, which doctors say has destroyed his brain. Officials at the National Health Service hospital withdrew life support, saying additional treatment is not in the child’s best interest. Alfie’s parents, Tom Evans, 21, and Kate James, 20, said Alfie was breathing on his own, and appealed to the pope for help. The Italian government granted the baby citizenship and offered to transport him to a Vatican hospital. But British courts ruled that taking Alfie out of the country would only prolong his suffering. Paris No handshake, no passport: A French appeals court has upheld a ruling denying an Algerian woman citizenship after she refused to shake the hand of a male official at a 2016 naturalization ceremony. The woman, who has not been named in the French press, said her Muslim beliefs prevented her from shaking the hand of a senior official at the ceremony. Officials said the refusal showed that the woman—who has been married to a Frenchman since 2010—was “not assimilated into the French community,” so they denied her citizenship. She appealed the decision, claiming it was an “abuse of power.” But earlier this month France’s highest administrative court upheld the ruling, declaring that officials had applied the law correctly. Ucayali region, Peru Shaman revenge lynching: A Canadian man was lynched in the Peruvian Amazon last week after villagers accused him of killing a tribal medicine woman because she would not lead him in a hallucinogenic ayahuasca ritual. The healer, Olivia Arevalo, 81, was shot near her home, and villagers believed that Sebastian Woodroffe, 41, a Canadian who lived nearby and studied botanical medicine, was responsible. No one witnessed the murder, and the gun used in the crime has not been found. A video shared on social media the day after Arevalo’s death showed Woodroffe pleading for his life with a rope around his neck; his body was found the next day. Two men have been arrested in connecPolice carry Woodroffe’s body. tion with Woodroffe’s killing. THE WEEK May 4, 2018 Asunción, Paraguay New president, old dictator: The son of a close aide to former Paraguayan dictator Alfredo Stroessner was elected the country’s Abdo president this week. Like his predecessor, Horacio Cartes, Mario Abdo Benítez, 46, is from the right-wing Colorado Party, which has led the country for all but five of the past 71 years. But he has more explicit ties to Stroessner—who ruled for 35 years until he was forced into exile in Brazil in 1989— than do most in his party. Abdo’s father was Stroessner’s personal secretary, and Abdo was a pallbearer at the dictator’s 2006 funeral. On the campaign trail, Abdo refused to condemn the dictatorship outright, but rather expressed regret about the 425 people killed and nearly 19,000 tortured under Stroessner. Abdo defeated centerleft challenger Efraín Alegre by less than 4 percentage points, the closest margin since Paraguay’s return to democracy. Newscom (2), AP, Newscom (2) Toronto Deadly van attack: In a scene of horror on a sunny spring day, a Canadian man rammed a rented van into pedestrians in Toronto this week, killing 10 people and injuring 15. “Shoot me in the head,” suspect Alek Minassian, 25, shouted at police as they arrested him. Officers said he had no known ties to international terrorism. But the software developer was a self-declared member of the online “incel,” or involAfter the rampage untarily celibate, community—a group of men who bemoan the fact that women won’t sleep with them. “The Incel Rebellion has already begun!” Minassian wrote on Facebook on the day of the massacre. “All hail the Supreme Gentleman Elliot Rodger!” Rodger killed six people and then himself in a 2014 rampage in Isla Vista, Calif.; during the spree, the 22-year-old posted a YouTube video in which he said he was going to punish women for rejecting him and men for regularly having sex. The world at a glance ... St. Petersburg, Russia Tycoon tortured to death: A technology entrepreneur known as “Russia’s Elon Musk” was apparently raped and tortured in prison before he died, according to a forensic report released last week. Valery Pshenichny, 56, was found hanging in his St. Petersburg cell in February while awaiting trial on charges of embezzling $1.6 million in funds from a Defense Ministry contract. The prison ruled it suicide, but the official medical report noted evidence of horrific abuse. “Electric shock burns from a hot water–boiler cord were found in his mouth,” the opposition newspaper Novaya Gazeta reported. “Lacerations and stab wounds on his body. A broken spine. Simply put, he was tortured.” DNA from sperm on his body did not match any prison guard’s, so he was likely tortured by someone brought in for that purpose. Pshenichny had originally accused his well-connected business partner of embezzling the money, but he was arrested instead. NEWS 9 Yerevan, Armenia Leader forced out: Armenian Prime Minister Serzh Sargsyan resigned this week after 11 days of mass street protests by angry citizens who accused him of a power grab in the former Soviet republic. After serving for more than a decade as president and unable to run again, Sargsyan engineered a constituSargsyan: ‘I was wrong.’ tional amendment that gave more power to the prime minister and changed the presidency to a ceremonial role. Sargsyan was named prime minister last week, and furious Armenians rushed to the streets to protest his attempt to cling to power. “I was wrong,” Sargsyan said in his resignation speech. Opposition leader Nikol Pashinyan has called on protesters to remain in the streets until an interim government is appointed to oversee new elections. AP (3), Newscom Kabul Massacring voters: An ISIS suicide bomber killed at least 60 people and wounded more than 120 others queuing outside a voterregistration center in a heavily Shiite neighborhood of Kabul this week. It was the latest in a series of attacks targeting would-be voters. Afghans must all get new voter cards because of widespread fraud in the 2014 presidential election, and legislative elections— now scheduled for October—have been delayed for three years as the process drags out. Among the dead was Wakil Hussain Allahdad, 33, a retired wrestler and father of four who was known for rushing to attack sites to help evacuate the wounded. Ayar Mbalom, Nigeria Church slaughter: Armed Fulani herdsmen attacked a Catholic church in a southern Nigerian village this week, killing two priests and 17 worshippers and torching more than 50 houses. Clashes between the mostly Muslim nomadic herders and the mostly Christian settled farmers have escalated this year as climate change has pushed the nomads further south in search of grazing land. “Violating a place of worship, killing priests and worshippers, is not only vile, evil, and satanic,” said President Muhammadu Buhari, a Muslim from northern Nigeria, “it is clearly calculated to stoke up religious conflict and plunge our communities into endless bloodletting.” The attack sparked riots Mourning after a Fulani attack across Nigeria’s Benue state. Jerusalem Portman shuns award: Oscar-winning actress Natalie Portman shocked Israel last week by declining to attend a major award ceremony meant to honor her in Jerusalem, with a representative for the Israeli-born star citing her distress over “recent events” in the country. Many interpreted her decision not to accept the 2018 Genesis Prize—which recognizes Jewish Netanyahu critic people who have attained excellence in their field—as stemming from the killings of at least 37 Palestinian protesters on the Gaza border. Some Israelis called for a boycott of Portman’s films, and the country’s minister of public security, Gilad Erdan, said the actress had been influenced by a “campaign of media misinformation regarding Gaza.” In a statement, Portman clarified that she was objecting to the presence of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the ceremony, saying she felt compelled to “stand up against violence, corruption, inequality, and abuse of power.” Mbabane, eSwatini Renaming Swaziland: King Mswati III has decreed a name change for his country, the last absolute monarchy in Africa. The land formerly known as Swaziland is now the Kingdom of eSwatini, which means “land of the Swazis” in the local language. Other African countries, he said, had shed their colonial names upon independence in favor of indigenous names. The king announced the change at a celebration marking his 50th birthday as well as his country’s 50th anniversary of independence from Britain. He explained that the old name had caused confusion, saying, “Whenever we go abroad, people refer to us as Switzerland.” Mswati III: Now king of eSwatini THE WEEK May 4, 2018 10 NEWS People Mock’s gender-fluid upbringing Janet Mock has become one of the world’s most visible transgender activists, said Simon Hattenstone in The Guardian. The best-selling memoirist and TV writer grew up in poverty in Honolulu, never feeling comfortable living as a young boy named Charles. She started hormone treatments at age 15 without telling her mother. Later, while still in her teens, she worked as a stripper and a sex worker to raise the $7,000 she needed for gender reassignment surgery. In many ways, she feels she was lucky to grow up in Hawaii, where there is a word, “mahu,” that is used to describe a third gender. “It was the norm to have people who were not male or female; people who may be in the middle somewhere,” Mock says. She’s also grateful that she didn’t have wealthy parents who might have paid for therapy to “right” her. “I believed I was, and knew myself as, a young woman, even when I had a penis,” she says. “It wasn’t as if I needed the surgery to confirm that for me.” She doesn’t understand why some people insist that trans people are delusional. “What’s happened to you that, of all the things you can talk about, of all the injustices in the world, the one thing you want to concentrate on is trans people living their truth?” Mock asks. “How is that harming you and your identity? Live your life and let me live mine.” Marcos Rodríguez Pantoja longs to return to the wild, said Silvia Pontevedra in El País (Spain). Pantoja, 72, is one of the few documented cases of a human being raised by animals. At 3 years old, he was sent to live with a goatherd in Spain’s Sierra Morena mountain range. When Pantoja was about 7, the goatherd either died or vanished, leaving him completely alone. He was taken in and cared for by a she-wolf, with her cubs coming to regard him as a brother. At night, he slept in a cave; during the day, he ran with the wolves. “I only wrapped my feet up when they hurt because of the snow,” Pantoja remembers. “I had such big calluses on my feet that kicking a rock was like kicking a ball.” When Spain’s Civil Guard found him at age 19, he had stopped using human speech entirely, although he could still cry. “Animals also cry,” Pantoja says. He now lives on a meager pension in a village in northwestern Spain. Pantoja has long wished to rejoin the wolves, but he knows it’s not an option. They no longer recognize him as one of their own. “If I call out to them, they are going to respond, but they are not going to approach me,” he says. “I smell like people, I wear cologne.” QDisgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong will pay $5 million to the federal government to settle allegations that he defrauded taxpayers by cheating his way to multiple Tour de France titles under the sponsorship of the U.S. Postal Service. The government sought up to $100 million from Armstrong after he admitted to doping in 2013. Armstrong has also agreed to pay another $1.65 million to cover former teammate Floyd Landis’ legal costs. Landis turned whistleblower against Armstrong after being THE WEEK May 4, 2018 Azalea’s fall from grace Iggy Azalea is the most hated woman in hip-hop, said Eve Barlow in GQ. Four years ago, her debut album was nominated for four Grammys and she was outselling Kendrick Lamar and Kanye West. But her career has flatlined since then, with no tour and no second album. “People would like to pretend I never existed,” Azalea says. “I don’t think they wanted me to be successful to begin with. Because I’m a white woman from Australia.” Azalea came under withering criticism from hip-hop fans, writers, and fellow rappers who accused her of appropriating black culture with her affected “blaccent” and urban-sounding rhymes. Her defensive responses only contributed to an avalanche of bad press. Azalea, whose given name is Amethyst Kelly, says she grew up “dirt poor” in Australia, a high school dropout who cleaned hotel rooms with her mother to survive. “I don’t wanna say that everyone’s feelings about racial privilege are invalid ’cause I was poor,” she says. “I understand that in America there is institutionalized racism and there is privilege that comes with the color of your skin. [But] I grew up in a situation that didn’t involve any privilege, and I worked really hard.... So it’s like, Where do I fit in that whole conversation? I don’t know.” stripped of his own 2006 Tour de France title for doping, making him eligible to receive up to 25 percent of the settlement Armstrong paid to the government. “I am glad to resolve this case and move forward with my life,” said Armstrong, who recently listed his Austin home for sale at $7.5 million. QThe pop superstar Prince probably didn’t realize the opioid painkiller pills he was taking were laced with the far more powerful painkiller fentanyl, Minneapolis authorities have concluded after a two-year investigation into his overdose death. Officials won’t bring criminal charges in connection with the death because they could not determine who sold Prince the tainted pills. Prince’s personal physician, Michael Schulenberg, helped Prince obtain prescriptions for other opioid painkillers, like Vicodin and Percocet, authori- ties said. But Prince had no prescription for the pills that killed him. “We simply do not have sufficient evidence to charge anyone with a crime related to Prince’s death,” said Carver County Attorney Mark Metz. QShania Twain apologized for saying she would have voted for Donald Trump in 2016 if she were a U.S. citizen. The Canadian country music star triggered a fierce online backlash among many of her fans after telling The Guardian, “I would have voted for him because, even though he was offensive, he seemed honest.” Twain, who is promoting her first album in 15 years, backpedaled when fans said they would boycott her tour. “I regret answering this unexpected question without giving my response more context,” Twain said. “I do not hold any common moral beliefs with the current president.” Getty, Newscom, Getty The ‘Mowgli’ of Spain Briefing NEWS 11 The collusion question Is President Trump right in saying there is ‘no evidence’ his campaign team worked with Russia? How so? What is ‘collusion’? Earlier in 2016, a U.K.-based professor “Collusion” is not a legal term, and who had been cultivated by the Kremlin it isn’t a federal crime (except in antitold Trump foreign policy adviser trust law). What special counsel Robert George Papadopoulos that Russia had Mueller’s team is investigating is whether “thousands of emails” that would damthere was a conspiracy—“secret coopage Clinton if released. The young aide eration” between the Trump campaign triumphantly repeated that claim to an and Russia in violation of one or more Australian diplomat—whose subsequent federal laws, including a law prohibiting tip-off sparked the FBI’s investigation political campaigns from receiving someinto the Trump campaign. Another key thing of “value” from foreign nationals. figure in this part of the investigation The underlying question investigators are is Roger Stone, one of Trump’s longtrying to answer is whether there was time advisers. Stone told a colleague in a simple quid pro quo: Russia helping Trump, Putin: How deep a connection? August 2016 that he had just met with Trump win the election in exchange for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange—a claim he later denied—and his using the power of the presidency to drop economic sanctions three weeks later tweeted that Clinton campaign chairman John and adopt friendly policies toward the Kremlin. Podesta would soon have his “time in the barrel.” Shortly afterward, WikiLeaks began publishing Podesta’s hacked emails. In an What justifies that suspicion? interesting bit of timing, the emails were released less than an hour U.S. intelligence agencies have already established that Russia sought to intervene in the 2016 presidential race to hurt Democrat after Trump’s embarrassing Access Hollywood tape became public. Hillary Clinton and help Trump. During the race and after the election, the Trump campaign had an unusual amount of contact What other contacts occurred? with Russians: at least 72 emails, phone calls, and other interacSeveral Trump officials tried to set up back channels to Moscow tions, including 19 face-to-face meetings. In his sweeping investiga- during the post-election transition. Mike Flynn, Trump’s first tion, Mueller is looking at a number of potential crimes: whether national security adviser, resigned when it was revealed that he had Trump campaign officials discussed with Russia the release of lied about discussing sanctions with then–Russian Ambassador hacked Democratic emails, provided guidance for Moscow’s disin- Sergey Kislyak several weeks before Trump took office. In another formation campaign on social media, or accepted laundered cammessage monitored by U.S. intelligence, Kislyak told his superiors paign money or other help. Trump’s prior financial dealings with that Kushner had proposed setting up a secret communications Russians are also being examined as a possible source of influence channel to the Kremlin in a Russian diplomatic facility. Mueller is or blackmail. So far, three Trump campaign officials have pled also reportedly investigating contacts between Manafort aide Rick guilty to crimes related to Russia, and several aides, including Gates and a former Russian intelligence officer, and a January Trump’s son Donald Jr., are known to have expressed interest in 2017 meeting in the Seychelles between Kremlin-linked Russian receiving Russia’s help. The key question, says former federal pros- financier Kirill Dmitriev and Blackwater founder Erik Prince, a ecutor Peter Zeidenberg, is “whether this interest crossed over into Trump ally. Adding to suspicions is the degree to which Trump’s intentional solicitation.” aides have lied about their many Russian contacts. Getty What evidence is known? In June 2016, British publicist Rob Goldstone—who had extensive business ties in Russia—told Donald Trump Jr. in an email that as part of Moscow’s “support” for his father, a Russian contact was offering “documents and information that would incriminate” Hillary Clinton. Trump Jr. responded enthusiastically—“If it’s what you say I love it”—and forwarded the message to then–campaign manager Paul Manafort and Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law. The three men subsequently met in Trump Tower with Goldstone and four other people with Russian ties. U.S. sanctions against Russia were discussed, but Don Jr. insists the meeting produced nothing of interest or any follow-up contact. But even before that meeting, it’s likely Trump’s team knew Russia had potentially damaging “dirt” on Clinton and the Democrats. Was there a meeting in Prague? A controversial intelligence dossier compiled by former British spy Christopher Steele claims that Michael Cohen, Trump’s personal lawyer, traveled to Prague around August 2016 to meet with Russian officials to plan a cover-up of their cooperation over hacked Democratic emails. Cohen denies that allegation, insisting he has never been to Prague “in his life.” Trump defenders have cited Cohen’s denial as proof that the entire dossier has no credibility. But McClatchy newspapers recently reported that Mueller has evidence Cohen did, in fact, travel to the Czech Republic to meet with Russians, entering via neighboring EU country Germany so that his passport bore no record of the visit. If the McClatchy report is true, it would mean Trump’s longtime consigliere knowingly lied about a secret meeting with Russians—a major blow to the claim there was “no collusion.” Federal agents recently raided Cohen’s offices and home, carting away computers, tape recordings, and boxes of records. What have they said? Top Trump campaign aide Jeff Sessions insisted during his confirmation hearings for attorney general that he “did not have communications with the Russians” during the campaign, only to later admit he’d met with Kislyak at least twice. In a statement reportedly dictated by the president, Trump Jr. initially claimed the topic of the Trump Tower meeting was “Russian adoptions,” failing to mention the offer of “dirt” on Clinton. During the campaign, the senior Trump openly asked Russia for help, urging Moscow in a July 2016 press conference to “find” 30,000 Clinton emails. Does any of this mean the president was involved in a crime? Until Mueller releases his findings, says Brookings Institution senior fellow Benjamin Wittes, anyone who claims to know “is talking out of an orifice other than their mouth.” THE WEEK May 4, 2018 Best columns: The U.S. With Republicans dominating Washington, Democrats “have rediscovered” states’ rights, said David Davenport. While conservatives have long championed federalism—the belief that states should have some autonomy—today it’s progressives railing about abuses of federal power. “In fact, many of today’s big political battles are, at their base, a federalism tug-of-war pitting the federal government against state and local David Davenport governments.” States, counties, and cities are actively fighting the Trump WashingtonExaminer.com administration’s attempt to crack down on illegal immigration. State attorneys general also took the lead challenging Trump’s travel ban. Under federal law, marijuana is still illegal, but 30 states and the District of Columbia have legalized cannabis in some fashion. States are even pursuing their own climate-change policies, as the Trump administration seeks to dismantle environmental regulation. The Left shouldn’t abandon federalism the moment a Democrat regains the White House; state and local control can soothe our overheated national politics by allowing red and blue America to live and let live. “After decades of power moving to Washington, it would be healthy and refreshing to see the pendulum swing back toward state and local governments.” Democrats discover states’ rights Trump isn’t likely to be forced out Charles Blow The New York Times A heartless immigration crackdown Michael Gerson The Washington Post Viewpoint Democrats, “I have something to tell you that you may not want to hear,” said Charles Blow. Donald Trump is probably not going to be removed from office by impeachment. “Yes, Trump is wholly unqualified, lacking in morality and character,” and may have been complicit in Russia’s attempt to interfere in the 2016 election. But this is a country that has only impeached two presidents in 225 years, and both of them—Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton—survived a Senate vote and remained in office. Even in cases of blatant presidential abuses of power, “the public and the political class abhor impeachment.” If Democrats win the House in November, it is possible they’ll impeach Trump, but in this hyperpartisan climate, a conviction by 67 votes in the Senate—where Republicans are likely to retain a majority—“is all but impossible.” Trump’s widespread unpopularity—nearly 60 percent of Americans disapprove of his performance—does give Democrats a major opportunity this November “to fundamentally transform the topography of the political landscape,” giving them the ability to block Trump’s agenda until the next presidential election. But they will be disappointed if they define success “by Trump’s removal.” ICE agents have become President Trump’s “personal bullying squad,” said Michael Gerson. While Trump rages against the FBI and Justice Department’s refusal to bend to his will, Immigration and Customs Enforcement have eagerly responded to his promise to cleanse the nation of undocumented immigrants with a 40 percent increase in arrests. Thousands of people without criminal records have been rounded up; “routine ‘check-ins’” with ICE officials can end in handcuffs and deportation. Hardworking mothers and fathers with deep roots in their communities are being dragged away from weeping children. To discourage border crossers, ICE is now deliberately separating parents it catches from their children—some of them infants—and dumping hundreds of traumatized kids in institutional shelters. Women and children from Central America, fleeing drug gangs and rampant crime, are being denied asylum and locked up. ICE’s director has thanked Trump for taking “the handcuffs off law enforcement,” but federal Judge Katherine Forrest has likened the heartless reign of terror to “treatment we associate with regimes that are unjust. We are not that country.” Under Donald Trump, we are that country. “When the political process fails to perform as they would like, activists and ideologues become disillusioned and embittered. The tragedy here is how this dynamic has convinced tens of millions of Americans that the political system is broken. Pull back from the granular view of events and try to examine America over the past decade and you see something else. Democratic overreach inspires conservative backlash. Republican overreach inspires liberal backlash. The electoral system is responsive to the views of the people. The system works. It works by restraining excessive ambition.” Noah Rothman in Commentary THE WEEK May 4, 2018 It must be true... I read it in the tabloids QA Colorado man who previously had been mauled by a bear and bitten by a rattlesnake survived his third wildlife encounter—a shark attack. Dylan McWilliams, 20, was bodyboarding in Hawaii when an 8-foot tiger shark chomped down on his leg— leaving a gash that needed seven stitches. Just months earlier, the wilderness-training instructor had received nine staples in his neck after a black bear dragged him from his tent in Colorado. Two years before that, he’d survived a rattlesnake bite while hiking in Utah. “I’m either really lucky,” McWilliams says, “or really unlucky.” QResidents of a California desert town woke up last week to find their homes buried by tumbleweeds. Strong winds had sent the spiky plants rolling into Victorville, and when the tumbleweeds hit a fence or a wall, they quickly began piling up—burying yards and reaching the secondstory windows of some properties. “It looked like we were being invaded,” says resident Bryan Bagwell. City workers armed with pitchforks tossed the plants into garbage trucks, but when the wind picked up, more weeds blew in from the Mojave. “There is no stopping them,” says resident Nancy Martinez-Brown. QPolice in Georgia are hunt- ing for a burglar who robbed a video game store wearing a not-so-cunning disguise: a clear plastic bag over his face. Surveillance cameras captured the man running through the store with the transparent wrapper on his head. Police released the footage and asked the public to help identify the “craftily disguised gent,” adding, “You can help us catch him, once you stop laughing.” James Quigg/The Daily Press/AP 12 NEWS Home Security. Done Right. Meet the all new SimpliSafe. It’s smaller. Faster. Stronger than ever. Engineered with a single focus: to protect. More than easy to use. It’s downright delightful. With sensors so small they’re practically invisible. Designed to disappear into your home And blanket it with protection. All at prices that are fair and honest. This is SimpliSafe. Home Security. Done Right. Right now get free shipping at SimpliSafe.com/week 14 NEWS GERMANY Admit that refugees bring anti-Semitism Maritta Adam-Tkalec Berliner Zeitung CROATIA Serbs won’t rein in their war criminals Iva Puljic-Sego Vecernji List Best columns: Europe You can’t wear a Jewish skullcap on your head in Berlin without being beaten up, said Maritta Adam-Tkalec. That’s the horrifying conclusion we must draw from the viral video posted last week by an Israeli Arab. Adam Armoush, who lives in Berlin, said he wanted to prove that Jews wouldn’t be harassed in Germany if they openly identified as Jews, so he borrowed a friend’s yarmulke and went for a stroll. It wasn’t long before three men, at least one of them a Syrian refugee, began yelling “Jew” at him in Arabic and beat him with a belt. Armoush caught the attack on film. Of course, such anti-Semitic violence wasn’t unknown in Germany before the 2015 influx of mostly Muslim refugees—we’ve long struggled with the “disgusting, extreme right-wing German hatred of the Jews as well as leftist hatred often disguised as criticism of Israel.” But overt anti-Semitic acts are now more common, as the “native and immigrant strains of anti-Semitism complement and reinforce each other.” We do the immigrants no favor by failing to acknowledge and denounce the bigotry they have brought with them. Worse, we fail our Jewish residents. Germans should all don the yarmulke in solidarity with their Jewish neighbors. “Civilization needs protection against barbarism.” Croatia won’t stand for Serbian insults, said Iva Puljic-Sego. Relations between the two countries have been tense since the early 1990s, when Croatia fought a war of independence from Serbdominated Yugoslavia. Things had been getting better recently, thanks to patient Croatian diplomacy. In February, when Croatia hosted Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic, it “gave him a princely reception, both in terms of personal security and respect for Serbian state symbols.” But when the return visit came last week, the pure hatred that still rules some in Serbia erupted. As the Croatian delegation arrived at the Serbian legislature, ultranationalist Vojislav Seselj—a recently convicted war criminal who is nevertheless a legislator in good standing—tore down the Croatian flag and trampled on it, hurling insults at the Croatian lawmakers. The Croatian politicians rightly said they would not tolerate the affront, and the delegation promptly returned home. The Serbian failure to prevent the all-too-foreseeable disruption by Seselj is inexcusable. After all, when the International Criminal Court in The Hague found Seselj guilty earlier this month of war crimes against Croatians in the 1990s, he announced he was “proud of all my war crimes” and “ready to repeat them again.” Did Serbia “deliberately allow” the desecration of our flag? Is it trying to provoke our wrath? United Kingdom: Brexit stymied at Irish border AP in perpetuity.” If a porous land Will Brexit be Brexit in name only? border in Ireland is impossible, and asked Tim Sculthorpe and Kate Ferone in the Irish Sea untenable, then, guson in the Daily Mail (U.K.). A the EU says, why not keep the U.K. “row over the Irish border” could within the customs union? Brexit leave Britain with no option but to would then have no point, because stay in the European Union’s cusEU rules would stop Britain from toms union. That’s because when striking trade deals with other counwe leave the EU next year, we will tries. That is patently Brussels’ goal: take Northern Ireland—which, like “to make the process of leaving so England, Wales, and Scotland, is part expensive, so complicated, and so of the U.K.—with us, creating a new diluted that Britain declares to the hard border between the EU and U.K. world that it was wrong even to where Northern Ireland meets Iretry.” May must not buckle to such land. But nobody wants checkpoints An anti-Brexit sign in Northern Ireland bullying, said The Sun (U.K.). To there: Their elimination was a key quit the EU only to leave Brussels in charge of our trade policy part of the 1998 Good Friday Agreement that ended three decades of sectarian violence in the North. Prime Minister Theresa “would be a catastrophic national humiliation.” May’s government has proposed using drones and other devices What choice does May have? asked Chris Johns in The Irish to create an “invisible border” that would check vehicles and Times (Ireland). Under World Trade Organization rules, border goods without armed guards. Since such technology does not yet exist, Brussels has dismissed the idea as a “Narnia” solution. checks must be implemented if Britain exits the customs union. To avoid the restoration of a hard border, either Northern IreThe EU proposes letting Northern Ireland stay in the customs land or the whole U.K. “has to stay within the customs and union, which would in effect relocate the border to the Irish single-market rules.” Everyone knows this. Yet when EU offiSea. But Northern Ireland’s staunchly pro-British Democratic cials point out this simple truth, Brexiteers “cry foul and mutter Unionist Party refuses that option, saying it would weaken the about European perfidy.” This could be the thread that unravprovince’s ties to London. May—whose minority Conservative els the entire Brexit enterprise, said Gideon Rachman in the government depends on DUP support—says no prime minister Financial Times (U.K.). If May eschews the customs union, we could allow it. will crash out of the EU with no deal, devastating our economy. If she accepts it, her government—which is divided between The EU just “wants to humiliate us,” said The Daily Telegraph Remainers and Brexiteers—could fall and we might get a new (U.K.) in an editorial. It has rejected all of May’s comproBrexit vote. “Hard-line Remainers should not give up yet.” mise proposals because it seeks “to bind us to its regulations THE WEEK May 4, 2018 Best columns: International NEWS 15 Nicaragua: An uprising against Ortega vestiges of democracy disappeared.” Nicaraguans are in revolt, said El Deber Ortega installed his wife, Rosario Mu(Bolivia) in an editorial. The peaceful rillo, as vice president in 2017, an act of student protests sparked last week by nepotism that disgusted even die-hard President Daniel Ortega’s planned social supporters. Still, ousting him won’t security overhaul—which would see conbe easy. Electoral fraud has given the tributors pay more and retirees receive Sandinistas a “monopoly of authorless—have now morphed into a general ity,” including control of the national antigovernment uprising, involving worklegislature and the judiciary. They have ers, retirees, and business owners. A viocensored social media and cut signals to lent response by security forces and proindependent TV stations. And they have Ortega paramilitaries has left at least 27 “physical control of the population” people dead, including a journalist who through police and “organized shock was shot while broadcasting live amid the Student protesters at a barricade in Managua forces” made up of Ortega loyalists. looting and mayhem. Such horrific scenes have shocked Nicaraguans and hardened their resolve to protest. Ignore all this right-wing propaganda, said Alberto Corona in In an attempt to regain control of the situation, Ortega’s governNicaragua’s state-run LaVozDelSandinismo.com. Yes, there are ment scrapped its state pension reforms this week, but the demonstrations raged on. Tens of thousands of people marched in the looters and vandals causing trouble in the streets, but they won’t capital, Managua, and other cities day after day, denouncing state undermine Nicaragua’s fundamental stability, and it’s worth askviolence and calling for regime change. They “demand justice and ing who is backing them. “The kids do not even know the party that is manipulating them,” Ortega said this week. “Gang memdemocracy in a country drowning in poverty, economic suffocabers are being brought in and are criminalizing the protests.” tion, and authoritarianism.” Perhaps they even have foreign sponsors. Ortega betrayed the people’s trust long before this bloody crackOrtega is worried—as he should be, said La Prensa (Nicaradown, said Manuel Orozco in Confidencial (Nicaragua). Back gua). He has lost the support of the people and control of the when his Marxist Sandinista guerrillas toppled the U.S.-backed streets, and “this transcendental fact will change the course of right-wing dictator Anastasio Somoza Debayle in 1979, Ortega history.” Ortega has become what he once fought against, even was hailed as the country’s liberator, and he led Nicaragua until using the same words Somoza used to justify bloody repression. 1990. But he just couldn’t stomach giving up power. He reHe has lost the moral authority to continue governing. “Ortega turned to the presidency in 2007 and then insisted on running must leave power peacefully, or he will have to leave as Somoza for re-election, ignoring the constitution’s one-term limit. After went”—hounded out of the country into permanent exile. the courts allowed Ortega to bypass that rule, Nicaragua’s “few CHINA Making us take Taiwan by force Su Tan Global Times MEXICO Our leading leftist’s British bestie Jorge Fernández Menéndez Getty Excelsíor The U.S. had better rethink its reckless policy toward Taiwan, said Su Tan. Let last week’s live-fire drills in the Taiwan Straits, the first China has held in two years, be a warning. The exercise was necessary because Washington has upped “its military and security cooperation with Taiwan to the most intimate and dangerous level since 1979.” Not only did the U.S. pass a law in March that allows top Taiwanese officials to visit their counterparts in America and vice versa—a violation of the “One China” policy, under which the U.S. agreed not to recognize Taiwanese sovereignty—it also approved the sale of advanced submarine technol- ogy to Taiwan. Such measures have emboldened separatists in Taiwan to become “more aggressive and arrogant in their secession attempts.” And that is dangerous for Taipei. Taiwan is part of China and will one day be reunified with the motherland—peacefully, we hope, but by force if necessary. Secessionists on the island must understand the more support they receive from Washington, “the earlier they will see their doomsday coming.” Taiwanese leader Tsai Ing-wen said recently that Taiwan is not simply a U.S. pawn, but a chess player in its own right. If she moves toward independence, we will tell her, “Game over.” The front-runner in Mexico’s July presidential election already has a staunch ally overseas, said Jorge Fernández Menéndez. Leftist populist Andrés Manuel López Obrador, known here as AMLO, has forged ties with Jeremy Corbyn, the far-left leader of Britain’s opposition Labor Party. Corbyn speaks fluent Spanish—his second wife was Chilean, and his third and current wife is Mexican—so the men had no language barrier when they first met two years ago. Corbyn has squired López Obrador around London; AMLO has hosted Corbyn in Mexico. While Corbyn is certainly to the left of López Obrador, the two share a great deal. They both support Communist Cuba and refuse to condemn Venezuela’s authoritarian leftist President Nicolás Maduro. The two men are “somewhat nationalist,” and both “can turn on the populism and know how to touch people in a moment of crisis or vulnerability.” It’s possible that in the next year, López Obrador will be Mexico’s president and Corbyn will be Britain’s prime minister. If that happens, the two “would be allies who, until now, no one on either side of the Atlantic has taken into account.” And Corbyn and AMLO will have to learn how to handle the third, unavoidable party in that special relationship: U.S. President Donald Trump. THE WEEK May 4, 2018 Noted QSince January, all of the books at the top of The New York Times hardcover nonfiction best-seller list have had one thing in common: President Trump. Michael Wolff’s Fire and Fury held the No. 1 spot first, and was supplanted by Michael Isikoff and David Corn’s Russian Roulette. That book was dethroned by Dear Madam President, a Clinton aide’s account of the 2016 race, which has in turn been supplanted by James Comey’s A Higher Loyalty. CNN.com QThe world’s oldest person, 117-year-old Nabi Tajima of Japan, died last week. Born on Aug. 4, 1900, Tajima was the last known person born in the 19th century (which ended Jan. 1, 1901). There are 36 known supercentenarians— those aged 110 or older— worldwide, and 18 of them are Japanese. The Washington Post QMitt Romney will face a primary election in Utah’s U.S. Senate race on June 26 after failing to lock up the Utah Republican Party’s nomination at its state convention. Romney came in second to Utah state Rep. Mike Kennedy, who won 50.9 percent of the convention vote to Romney’s 49.1 percent. CNN.com. QThe richest 1 percent of American women by income live more than 10 years longer than the poorest 1 percent. For men, the life-span gap between the richest and poorest Americans is almost 15 years. Bloomberg.com QState and local governments in the United States have spent up to $24 billion on professional, amateur, and college stadiums since 1990. The Atlantic THE WEEK May 4, 2018 Talking points Haley: Building her own brand a woman who can stand up Another week, “another to Trump. That may make humiliation of a Trump her immune to “the ignoCabinet official at the hands miny that has befallen many of the president,” said Matt a member of the Trump Lewis in TheDailyBeast.com. administration.” During the Trump’s latest victim is Nikki 2016 campaign, said A.B. Haley, the U.S. ambassador Stoddard in RealClearPolitics to the United Nations. Two .com, Haley—an Indianweeks ago, Haley announced American—was an outspoon CBS’s Face the Nation ken critic of Trump’s racially that new sanctions would be Haley: ‘I don’t get confused.’ charged rhetoric. Since he imposed on Russian comnamed her ambassador to the U.N., she has pointpanies that may have helped manufacture the edly “not stooped to the sycophancy most of her chemical weapons Bashar al-Assad recently used colleagues have.” Haley clearly intends to preserve on Syrian civilians. President Trump reportedly was enraged by her statement, and two days later, and burnish her reputation “for the future.” Larry Kudlow, Trump’s new economic adviser, said no decision had been made on new sanctions, That future might include a 2020 presidential candidacy, said Pamela Falk in TheHill.com. The suggesting that Haley had been suffering from “momentary confusion.” Haley defiantly retorted, former South Carolina governor has strong credentials, and if she can now build a reputation for “With all due respect, I don’t get confused.” It’s Trump, of course, who was confused—about Rus- principled independence from Trump, she could be sia sanctions and so much else, said Dana Milbank perfectly positioned to make an “Oval Office run” of her own. Her problem is that Trump knows in The Washington Post. Our erratic president it, said E.J. Dionne Jr. in The Washington Post. obviously reversed the sanctions decision, and in White House aides have been whispering that he’s the process, made Haley “look like a fool.” “uneasy with her ambition”—and that was even before Haley pushed back hard on the sanctions. Actually, said Molly Roberts in WashingtonPost If she’s serious about running for president, Haley .com, this incident was “a coup” for Haley. Not should consider “leaving this listing ship on her only did she force an apology out of Kudlow—a rarity in this administration—she positioned herself own terms,” before Trump makes her look bad— perhaps on purpose next time. as “a truth-teller apart from a cabal of liars,” and The Comey memos: What they reveal “If you didn’t know better, you’d think House Republicans were trying to sink President Trump,” said Jennifer Rubin in WashingtonPost.com. After months of pressure, GOP lawmakers last week forced the Department of Justice to hand over “the James Comey memos”—the former FBI director’s contemporaneous accounts of his interactions with the president. Republicans thought obtaining and leaking the memos would somehow “be helpful to Trump.” Instead, the memos only prove Comey was telling the truth all along. He details Trump’s demands for “loyalty” and his request that the FBI drop its investigation into then–national security adviser Michael Flynn. He also says the president was obsessed about the “pee tape” described in the Steele dossier, insisting it couldn’t exist because he was a “germaphobe.” This really is an embarrassing own goal for “Trump’s allies in Congress,” said David Graham in TheAtlantic.com. The memos—written before Comey was fired—bolster his credibility and damage Trump’s, which could prove crucial when special counsel Robert Mueller releases his findings. I’m not so sure, said Byron York in the Washington Examiner. The memos show that Comey told Trump about the “golden showers” allegation during their first meeting together—whereupon the salacious story almost immediately appeared in the media. Could it be that the president thought Comey was trying to blackmail him? When Trump later asked Comey for “loyalty,” perhaps he was asking for Comey to assure him of “the confidentiality” an FBI director must provide. Comey’s memos actually undermine the former G-man’s story, said The Wall Street Journal in an editorial. He assured Trump he wasn’t a leaker, yet later leaked some of his memos so they’d wind up in the press. Comey also admits Trump “urged” him to investigate the pee-tape allegation, to prove it was untrue—undermining the argument that he was pressuring Comey to obstruct justice. Oh, please, said Jonathan Chait in NYMag.com. To believe Trump wasn’t demanding personal loyalty from Comey, you have to ignore the fact that he has publicly stated many times that he thinks the Justice Department “should be a weapon to protect the president’s interests.” And if Trump’s request for loyalty was “merely an innocuous request,” why has he spent a year denying he ever used that word with Comey? In floating alibis Trump himself “never thought to use,” the president’s defenders really are trying too hard. Getty (2) 16 NEWS Talking points Trump’s lawyer: Will he flip? rate, dishing out “gratuitous Michael Cohen, Donald insults” and “threats of being Trump’s longtime personal fired” over failed deals. The attorney, memorably claimed president notably declined to last year that he’d “take a make space for Cohen in his bullet for the president,” said administration. Now, though, Tina Nguyen in VanityFair Trump’s whipping boy has all .com. “That loyalty is now the “leverage.” That leverage being put to the test.” Since could lead to a presidential the FBI’s raids on Cohen’s pardon, said Eric Levitz in office, apartment, and hotel NYMag.com. Trump has room last month, Trump’s Trump and Cohen in 2011 already “floated” the idea of allies have grown increaspardoning aides caught up in the Russia investigaingly nervous that his self-described “fixer” will tion, and this week tweeted, “I don’t see Michael “flip”—providing prosecutors with incriminatdoing that”—that is, flipping on him. Cohen may ing evidence on the president. Cohen has been deeply involved in Trump’s personal and business wind up with a “‘get out of jail free’ card.” affairs for more than a decade, paying off alleged mistresses, threatening critics and journalists, and You know what’s weird about the Cohen story? negotiating business deals with Russian oligarchs. asked Josh Barro in BusinessInsider.com. Neither Trump nor his defenders are contending Cohen Given that the combative lawyer could be facing serious charges carrying long jail terms—including can’t possibly “flip” because he and Trump “never engaged in criminal wrongdoing together.” wire fraud, bank fraud, and campaign finance Instead, everyone around Trump essentially law violations—Trump and his allies see him as assumes that Cohen must have some serious dirt a “ticking time bomb.” Jay Goldberg, the presiworth sharing. At the same time, Trump’s allies dent’s divorce lawyer, said last week he’d warned Trump not to trust Cohen an inch—and that on a also are ratcheting up their contention that the president’s personal business affairs—which may loyalty scale of 1 to 100, Cohen “isn’t even a 1.” be richly detailed in Cohen’s emails and files—are “‘a red line’ that special counsel Robert Mueller The loyalty between Cohen and Trump has always been a one-way street, said Maggie Haber- must not cross.” That warning—and the allies’ concern about Cohen’s loyalty—may well point to man in The New York Times. The lawyer worships his boss, but Trump thinks of him as second- the depth of Trump’s legal jeopardy. Tax cuts: Not helping the GOP Newscom Somehow, Republicans managed to pass a tax cut that most Americans don’t like, said Eric Levitz in NYMag.com. When President Trump signed the GOP tax reform bill late last year, polls showed it to be “even less popular than the tax hikes passed under George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton.” Republicans hoped that would change as soon as Americans started seeing more money in their paychecks, but voters are still dubious. Today, just 27 percent of Americans say the tax cuts are a “good idea,” while 53 percent think they will have a negative impact by causing deficits to rise while lavishing disproportionate benefits on the rich. This is a “harrowing development” for the GOP. If Republicans can’t sell voters on tax cuts, their one significant legislative accomplishment of the Trump era, “what are they supposed to sell them?” How about even more tax cuts? said Lauren DeBellis Appell in FoxNews.com. Congressional Republicans had to let the cuts for individuals expire in 2025 for budget and procedural reasons, but are mulling legislation that would make those cuts permanent. They should, because taxpayers need to be reminded who’s on their side. The Treasury Department estimates that take-home pay has increased for 90 percent of Americans. “More money in your pocket is a winning message.” Unfortunately, that message alone won’t cut it, said Rich Lowry in Politico .com. The tax cuts will be almost a year old by the midterms, and Republicans have no other policy agenda in the works to give Americans a reason to vote for them—despite controlling Congress and the White House. “Republicans are resting on their laurels, when they don’t deserve any laurels.” It looks like voters are no longer buying the GOP’s “snake oil,” said Paul Krugman in The New York Times. For decades, Republicans have sold tax cuts for the wealthy and corporations as a magical elixir that produces so much economic growth that they pay for themselves, and trickle down into big pay raises for the middle class. But the deficit is now projected to soar to more than $1 trillion by 2020, thanks in large part to the tax bill. Corporations are pocketing billions in tax relief, without sharing much of it with employees. So what will Republicans run on in the midterms in November? Expect more whiteidentity politics. In the Trump era, it’s all the GOP has left. NEWS 17 Wit & Wisdom “Freedom is a fragile thing and is never more than one generation away from extinction.” Ronald Reagan, quoted in the National Review “So convenient a thing to be a reasonable creature, since it enables one to find or make a reason for every thing one has a mind to do.” Benjamin Franklin, quoted in the San Francisco Chronicle “To write is to sell a ticket to escape, not from the truth but into it.” Novelist Alexander Chee, quoted in TheParisReview.org “It is better to offer no excuse than a bad one.” George Washington, quoted in the Clearwater, Fla., Beacon “The use of a life is to spend it for something that outlasts it.” William James, quoted in SmithsonianMag.com “An archaeologist is the best husband any woman can get. The older she gets, the more interested he is in her.” Agatha Christie, quoted in The New York Times “Doubt can motivate you, so don’t be afraid of it.” Barbra Streisand, quoted in MentalFloss.com Poll watch QIn a survey of infrequent or unregistered voters, 56% think the country is on the wrong track. Yet 83% of respondents say they are “not very likely” or “not at all likely” to vote in the 2018 midterms. 63% say they don’t pay attention to politics “because nothing ever gets done,” while 68% say it’s “because it’s so corrupt.” Suffolk University/USA Today Q78% percent of Americans say teachers in this country are underpaid. Associated Press/NORC THE WEEK May 4, 2018 THE WEEK | SPECIAL REPORT: SMALL BUSINESS would-be customers and damage a brand. A recent survey found that 22 percent of respondents would not spend money on a business after reading a single negative review. After three bad reviews, the number jumps to 59 percent. How should businesses respond? Most diners check a restaurant’s reviews beforehand. Briefing: The review revolution Consumers are increasingly relying on online reviews to make decisions about where to shop, eat, and do business. Experts say they should embrace reviews, good or bad. “The biggest fear is not a positive or negative review; it’s no review,” said Ken McGarrie, of the consulting firm Korgen Hospitality. In fact, businesses can improve their image by engaging with reviewers—thanking those who left positive comments and apologizing and working with those who posted complaints. “Every business gets negative reviews. Yours will, too,” said Valerie Vallancourt of Outsell, a marketing platform for the automotive industry. “Whether they affect future buyers’ decisions is entirely based on how you respond.” In one survey, 78 percent of online reviewers said that seeing a business respond to reviews made them trust that business more. How important are online reviews? Is it possible to encourage positive feedback? Consumers are more likely to take the time to complain about a bad experience than they are to praise a good one. But small nudges can help. If you are a small-business owner, inviting customers to leave “feedback,” as opposed to a review, can be an effective strategy. And don’t wait too long; customers are more likely to give you their opinion online right after a sale or visit. You can also follow up with an email asking for a review and noting how important feedback is to the services you provide. Are fake reviews a problem? Yes. Some businesses try to cheat by buying or posting fake reviews—whether positive ones for themselves or negative ones for competitors. The big forums, including Yelp and Amazon, have systems that try to flag and block such fraudulent posts, as well Why are reviews so influential? as ones that highlight when reviews come from verified customConsumers want to know whether they can trust a business ers. Search consultant Jason Brown runs Review Fraud, a website before they shop, and they want to be able to compare services dedicated to reporting businesses that buy fake reviews to the and products. Think about your own buying habits. When was Federal Trade Commission. “It’s the last time you tried a new restauabout preventing people from getrant or bought a new pair of pants An end to ‘gag’ clauses ting taken advantage of,” he said. or a TV online without looking at In 2014, a hotel in upstate New York went viral for all Meanwhile, small-business owners the reviews first? These ratings are the wrong reasons. It had a stated policy of charging who suspect reviews are fake can also more visible than ever before; a couples who booked weddings at the venue $500 for flag them for the forums to deal Google search for “plumber near me” any negative reviews left by their guests. When the with. But they might also opt to returns star-rated results under a map, hotel tried to enforce the policy, more than 3,000 1-star treat them as though they were so reviews are front and center before reviews poured in from all over the country. That was an extreme response, but such “gag” clauses, buried real. “If a real customer posts a consumers even click. A slew of in vacation-home contracts and other user agreements, negative review of an unhappy positive reviews can be a springboard were becoming increasingly common—until Congress experience with your business, and for success. Consumers are likely to stepped in. In December 2016, lawmakers passed the you incorrectly accuse the reviewer spend 31 percent more at businesses Consumer Review Fairness Act, which blocks busiof being fraudulent, the hit to your with excellent reviews, according to nesses from inserting sweeping language into agreecompany’s reputation will go from BrightLocal. Even a one-star bump ments that punishes consumers or threatens them with bad to much, much worse,” said in ratings can add 5 to 9 percent of legal action for leaving a negative online review. John Swanciger, CEO of online revenue to a small business’s books. small-business resource Manta. Conversely, bad reviews can deter 18 | THE WEEK May 4, 2018 Getty For small businesses in particular, they can mean the difference between failure and success. Any small-business owner will tell you that social review sites such as Yelp, TripAdvisor, and Angie’s List can be invaluable for attracting new customers. In a 2017 survey, 97 percent of consumers said they looked at online sites for information on local businesses, according to consulting firm BrightLocal, and 85 percent said they trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. Because positive reviews have such a big impact on consumers’ decisions, they can help smaller shops compete with their much bigger rivals, despite vastly different advertising and marketing budgets. Reviews “level the playing field between chains and independent businesses,” said Brett Hollenbeck, an assistant professor at the UCLA Anderson School of Management. Technology 20 NEWS Smartphones: No-frills phones are back pay for purchases. It’s the “less is more” theory Are you tired of touch screens, app updates, of phone ownership; you stay connected but and incessant push notifications? asked Brian get “something a little less intense” than the Chen in The New York Times. You’re in luck: sensory overload of an attention-sucking The budget phone is making a comeback. smartphone. If you want a phone under With the latest iterations of both Apple’s $100, you’re no longer “doomed to limpand Samsung’s flagship smartphones flirting ing along with leftover software,” said Rob with the $1,000 mark, plenty of consumers Pegoraro in USA Today. Google has rebuilt are deciding they “don’t want to splurge on its Android operating software “to stay rea fancy phone every few years.” So they’re sponsive on low-end hardware,” so the latgoing retro—and finding that cheaper est no-frills phones can handle Google apps phones “have never been better.” In an age such as Maps, Gmail, and Google Assistant when everyone seems glued to a screen, the with “less storage and memory.” humble flip phone in particular “is turning Retro returns: The new ‘candy bar’ Nokia into a statement of protest and individualThe re-emergence of Nokia’s ultracheap feature phones is Silicon ity,” said Scott Enman in The Seattle Times. Oscar winner Valley’s rare “feel-good” story this year, said Brian Barrett in Daniel Day-Lewis, Vogue editor Anna Wintour, and billionaire Wired.com. Finnish company HMD Global recently revived the investor Warren Buffett have all been spotted recently with the Nokia brand and last year sold 59.2 million feature phones, a low-tech devices. If you prize “simplicity, durability, and afford70 percent bump from 2016. Both the Nokia 3310 and 8110 ability,” a smartphone may no longer be the answer. devices—aka the candy bar and banana-shaped phones that “defined the pre-iPhone era”—have been reissued as “thought“It is time to take feature phones seriously again,” said David fully designed and executed devices.” The 3310, which goes Pierce in The Wall Street Journal. The category, which includes for about $60, “looks just enough like the original for instant old-school flip phones and other “formerly dumb” devices, has gotten smarter. With retro looks on the outside for a “heavy dose recognition,” but sports a 2-megapixel camera and a web browser. The 8110’s tiny 2.4-inch screen is a great antidote for of nostalgia,” the phones contain upgraded tech on the inside, the “always-on lifestyle,” and the slider mechanism “travels giving owners the ability to not just make calls and send texts smoothly from open to shut.” Perhaps the best throwback feabut also use a handful of modern apps. And they can summon ture: “The battery life still nudges up against a full month.” virtual assistants, which can call cabs, do internet searches, even Methane leaks from oil and gas facilities are “set to be spotted from space,” said Damian Carrington in The Guardian. The Environmental Defense Fund plans to launch MethaneSAT, a satellite equipped to “scan the globe and make major leaks public,” by 2021. Methane is a potent greenhouse gas, responsible for roughly a fifth of human-caused climate change. The EDF says that though the oil and gas industry is responsible for about a third of emissions, which can come from leaky pipelines and fracking sites, just 3 percent of energy firms currently report their leaks. The satellite will play an important role in detecting where emissions are coming from. Although some government-run satellites can detect methane, they can’t pinpoint its source. MethaneSAT should provide “a new level of precision” in monitoring about 50 major oil and gas regions, covering 80 percent of global production. THE WEEK May 4, 2018 Bytes: What’s new in tech Beijing pressures its tech sector China is on the verge of nationalizing its tech sector, said Christopher Balding in Bloomberg .com. Last year, 34 Chinese startups surged into the world’s elite ranks of $1 billion–plus valuations, and private equity and venture capital investment there soared from $14 billion in 2012 to $120 billion in 2017. “By many measures, China’s tech companies seem unstoppable.” The Chinese government has noticed, too, and is using a raft of aggressive moves to signal it wants more control over the industry. Communist Party committees have become a fixture “at many tech firms,” tasked with examining “everything from operations to compliance with national goals.” Regulators have also examined taking a financial stake in the biggest Chinese tech companies, such as Alibaba and Tencent, while the companies themselves “have been widely encouraged” to pump money into state-owned firms. Apple revamps news offering Apple is building a paid news-subscription service it hopes can emulate the success of its Apple Music platform, said Christina Bonnington in Slate.com. In March, the company acquired Texture, a digital service often dubbed the Netflix of magazines, which lets users subscribe to more than 200 magazines for $9.99 a month. Apple plans to integrate Texture into Apple News, in order to grow Apple’s suite of subscription services. In Apple’s most recent quarterly results, those services, including iTunes, Apple Music, iCloud, and the App Store, earned $8.5 billion in revenue, a 13 percent increase over last year. “While iPhone sales continue to be Apple’s cash cow, the services segment is catching up” as phone-buying habits shift. Google VR to preserve historical sites Google is attempting to “preserve endangered historical sites in virtual reality,” said Nick Statt in TheVerge.com. The search giant is partnering with the nonprofit 3-D laser– scanning group CyArk to document and record sites “at risk of irreversible damage or total erasure due to human conflict and natural disasters.” The Open Heritage project will lean on CyArk’s laser-scanning prowess to capture data and enable the virtual re-creation of each site. The inspiration for Open Heritage came from the destruction by the Taliban of 1,500-year-old Buddhist statues in 2001. Sites earmarked for similar re-creation include a temple in Myanmar, a palace in Syria, and Mayan ruins in Mexico. Nokia, EDF Innovation of the week Health & Science NEWS 21 Moderate drinking isn’t healthy after all Conventional wisdom says that moderate drinking is good for you. But a major new study found that having even just one drink each day could shorten people’s lives. A team of 120 scientists analyzed data from multiple studies, involving nearly 600,000 people from 19 different countries, and found that the more people drink, the shorter their life span, CNN .com reports. People who have an average of seven to 14 alcoholic drinks each week can expect to die about six months sooner, while those who have two to three drinks per day could be shaving up to two years off their lives. Drinking An artist’s conception of the early solar system Diamonds from long-lost planet A diamond-filled asteroid that exploded in Earth’s atmosphere may be evidence of a long-lost “proto-planet” that orbited the sun billions of years ago, new research suggests. Scientists speculate that in the early days of the solar system, 4.5 billion years ago, the first planets to coalesce from swirling gases and dust were destroyed by violent collisions and bombardments, with the current eight planets and other bodies then forming from that debris. A rare meteorite, called a ureilite, found in Sudan’s Nubian Desert 10 years ago may contain the first evidence of the earlier worlds. Examining the ureilite under an electron microscope, scientists found it contained tiny diamonds filled with impurities made of chromite, phosphate, and iron-nickel sulfides. The pressure necessary to produce these minerals could occur only within a planet roughly the size of Mars. Study author Farhang Nabiei tells The Washington Post that the asteroid has provided strong new evidence of a previous generation of planets. “This is part of the story of how we came to be,” Nabiei says. Getty, NASA (2) Atlantic current slowing The Gulf Stream, the Atlantic Ocean current that transports warm, salty water from the tropics to Western Europe and America’s East Coast like a giant conveyor belt, is alcohol, researchers say, is associated with a slew of cardiovascular problems, including stroke, aortic aneurysm, severe high blood pressure, heart failure, and an increased risk for breast cancer and cancers of the digestive system. These findings contradict federal guidelines, which assert that men can safely drink up to two alcoholic drinks per day and women can have up to one drink daily. The benefits from drinking, which previous research has indicated may help boost “good” HDL cholesterol levels, are outweighed by the damage it does, says study leader Dr. Angela Wood of Cambridge University. circulating at its slowest rate in 1,600 years. The likely culprit: climate change. A team of scientists analyzed sediment samples and fossil records from the ocean floor to determine how deep currents and ocean temperatures have changed over time. A separate group of researchers directly measured ocean temperatures dating back to the late 19th century. Both teams found that the Gulf Stream, or Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC), has weakened by 15 to 20 percent over the last 150 years. Normally, AMOC releases heat into the atmosphere and warms Western Europe as it moves north. Once in the North Atlantic, the water cools, sinks, and circulates back south. This powerful current is gradually ebbing as melting glaciers reduce the salinity and density of the water, reports TheGuardian.com. If global warming continues to escalate, the disruption of the current could reach “a tipping point,” says study co-author Stefan Rahmstorf, a climate scientist. “This is uncharted territory,” he warns. A collapse of the Gulf Stream could result in rapid sealevel rise on the U.S. East Coast and extreme winters in Europe, and may have a major impact on fisheries and ocean ecosystems. New planet-hunting satellite NASA began a new era in the search for habitable worlds and alien life last week with the launch of a $337 million satellite into space. The space agency’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite, known as TESS, will spend the next two years scanning the skies for planets orbiting the brightest nearby stars, The New York Times reports. Bad news: Drinking can shorten your life span. “If you already drink alcohol,” she says, “drinking less may help you live longer.” The refrigerator-size spacecraft will begin its mission just as NASA’s Kepler Space Telescope, which detected 2,343 confirmed exoplanets over the past nine years, runs out of fuel. Unlike Kepler, which stared at a single patch of sky, TESS will divide the heavens into 13 slices and focus on each section for 27 days. The satellite’s four cameras will capture telltale dips in light that occur when distant worlds are passing in front of their star. Overall, NASA estimates, TESS will find more than 20,000 new exoplanets, including 500 to 1,000 worlds in the habitable zone of their suns. Scientists will then examine each planet’s atmosphere for the chemical signatures of life, using powerful ground- and spacebased telescopes, including the James Webb Space Telescope, which will join TESS in orbit in 2020. Health scare of the week Night owls may live shorter lives People who habitually stay up late are more likely to die early, a new study has found, perhaps because their internal body clock is out of sync with a society that favors early risers. Researchers tracked about 430,000 adults between 38 and 73 years old for 6.5 years. They found that night owls had a 10 percent greater risk of early death than those who prefer to wake up early, Vox.com reports. Those who burned the midnight oil were more likely to have chronic health issues, such as diabetes, neurological disorders, and respiratory disease. One possible reason, says study author Kristen Knutson, is that the pressure to conform to other people’s work and social schedules leaves late risers anxious, sleep deprived, and feeling as if they live in a perpetual state of jet lag. “There’s a problem for the night owl who’s trying to live in the morning-lark world,” Knutson says. THE WEEK May 4, 2018 22 NEWS THE WEEK May 4, 2018 Pick of the week’s cartoons For more political cartoons, visit: www.theweek.com/cartoons. ARTS Review of reviews: Books Great Britain that required renouncing slavery. Antigovernment sentiment has been a theme for generations, but among its unintended consequences is an absence of zoning laws that have left Houston unusually integrated, while also making it unusually vulnerable to 2017’s Hurricane Harvey. Book of the week God Save Texas: A Journey Into the Soul of the Lone Star State by Lawrence Wright (Knopf, $28) “It can be hard to explain the appeal of our state to outsiders,” said Texas native Michael Schaub in NPR.org. Journalist and Pulitzer Prize winner Lawrence Wright knows that all too well. Raised in Abilene, he moved to Dallas just a few years before John F. Kennedy was assassinated, and he has spent the past 38 years living in Austin, often embarrassed and repelled by the way politics is practiced in the state’s capital. But Wright, who’s a staff writer at The New Yorker, is also “one of the most talented journalists Texas has ever produced,” and with God Save Texas, he’s created a thoughtful portrait that balances the good and the bad. It’s “essential reading” for anyone who believes, as Wright does, that Texas’ outsize influence on today’s national political culture will only grow in the decades to come. Getty A Texas barn: Pride that cuts two ways “For every stereotype Wright explores,” he finds a counterfactual that “blows it up,” said Colette Bancroft in the Tampa Bay Times. Texas mostly elects white conservative Christian men, but it’s one of only four states where the non-Hispanic white population is a minority. Texas prides itself on its independent cowboycapitalist spirit, but forfeited its best chance of remaining an independent republic in the mid 19th century when it joined the U.S. rather than accept a loan from Novel of the week Circe Ritz & Escoffier: The Hotelier, the Chef, & the Rise of the Leisure Class by Madeline Miller by Luke Barr (Clarkson Potter, $26) (Little, Brown, $27) Madeline Miller’s latest reworking of ancient myth is “a novel to be gobbled greedily in one sitting,” said Alex Preston in TheGuardian.com. The bestselling author of 2011’s Song of Achilles has now pushed the sorceress Circe into a lead role. No longer a mere stop in the grander epic of the Odyssey, the golden-eyed daughter of the sun god Helios has centuries of story behind and ahead of her when Odysseus arrives on the island she’s been banished to. She turns his men into pigs, beds Odysseus, and later sneers at Homer’s account of their yearlong fling: “Humbling women seems to be a chief pastime of poets,” she says. Miller never cheats, said Ron Charles in The Washington Post. She builds her drama on events recounted by Homer and other ancients, but “illuminates details we hadn’t noticed before.” Her Odysseus and Circe engage in a complex, mature affair, and Miller plays their verbal sparring “with a delightful mix of wit and lust.” We know where all this is heading, “yet in Miller’s lush reimagining, the story feels harrowing and unexpected.” 23 When the Savoy opened in London in 1889, “nobody had quite seen anything like it,” said Shinan Govani in the Toronto Star. The wedding-cake hotel was the city’s first with electric lights, elevators, and en-suite bathrooms. But the revolution the Savoy heralded would not be complete until Swiss hotelier César Ritz and French chef Auguste Escoffier joined the team. Over the next decade or so, the pair redefined luxury, said Moira Hodgson in The Wall Street Journal. At the Savoy, dining out became theater, French cuisine became fine cuisine, upper-floor suites became coveted, and aristocrats learned to rub elbows with theater stars, the nouveau riche, even women dining alone. Luke Barr’s entertaining dual portrait of the two men who engineered the transformation “reads like a novel, complete with cliffhangers,” but it’s also history that charts a real social change. Texas is, of course, “far too big to be just one thing,” said Chris Vognar in The Dallas Morning News. Wright asks us to think of it as two places: “AM Texas” and “FM Texas”—one rural or suburban and Republican, and the other urban, multiethnic, and Democratic. He also reminds us that Texas may be far different in 2050, when its population will nearly match that of California and New York combined. There’s no need to look further for why Wright has stayed in Texas so long despite believing that it’s nurtured an “immature political culture” that has already done “terrible damage” to the nation, said Andrew Graybill in Texas Monthly. “In short, it matters, and deeply.” In Wright’s words, Texas is home to a culture that’s “not fully formed” but also “growing in influence, dangerous, and magnificent in its potential.” Both Escoffier and Ritz came from humble roots, said Talia Lavin in VillageVoice.com. The chef’s father had been a blacksmith, and Ritz grew up herding goats. In a book that “goes down as light as an aperitif,” we quickly sense how Ritz was fueled by his determination to escape his past. He first paired with Escoffier, another scrappy service-industry savant, at a grand hotel in Monaco. While Ritz pioneered “thecustomer-is-always-right” service, Escoffier absorbed the culinary techniques that enabled him to wow fin-de-siècle London. Reading Ritz & Escoffier, “it’s hard not to drool on the pages” at the thought of Escoffier’s foie gras, or Pêche Melba. Ritz and Escoffier’s run at the Savoy ended in scandal: The pair had been pocketing kickbacks from suppliers. Even so, their triumph has endured, said The Economist. “Though it is the glittering beau monde that draws the reader’s eye,” Ritz & Escoffier creates memorable protagonists out of two men who put themselves in the service of others. Look up “ritzy” in the dictionary today and you’ll see mention of a man who was so anxious that his large feet betrayed his peasant roots that he always wore shoes a half-size too small. The Prince of Wales and the Duke d’Orleans might not have cared, “but today it is not their names that are world-famous; it is his.” THE WEEK May 4, 2018 The Book List 24 ARTS Andrew Sean Greer Andrew Sean Greer is suddenly the rarest of artistic figures: a comic novelist who’s been given a major literary award, said Ron Charles in The Washington Post. Greer’s Less is “laugh-till-you-can’t-breathe funny,” a quality that typically disqualifies a novel from Pulitzer Prize consideration. But the 47-yearold San Francisco– based writer somehow broke through last week, perhaps because the Pulitzer judges had been blinded to the humor by Less’ other strengths—the ones that inspired them to characterize its tale about failed gay novelist Arthur Less as “a generous book, musical in its prose and expansive in its structure and range.” In any case, Greer was hardly waiting by the phone the day the Pulitzers were announced. “C’mon— everyone was surprised,” he says. As he wrote on Twitter that day: “I hope somebody put some money on me, because they have surely made a fortune now.” Not that Greer hadn’t given the Pulitzers any thought, said Kerri Jarema in Bustle .com. At one point early in his novel, Arthur is lusting for prize recognition himself when he recalls a moment years earlier when his older lover received the call informing him he’d won the Pulitzer for poetry. It’s all done with a light touch, but the passage homes in on how writers can’t help craving awards even when they know they shouldn’t. Greer says he’s learned to focus instead on simply getting something on the page that he can be proud of. “It’s easy to forget,” he says, “that’s the only real pleasure writers have.” With Less, he felt proud even before publication. “I had no idea if anyone would like it,” he says. “But I thought: ‘I have written exactly the book I wanted to.’” THE WEEK May 4, 2018 Best books...chosen by Curtis Sittenfeld Curtis Sittenfeld’s new book, You Think It, I’ll Say It, is the best-selling novelist’s first short-story collection. Below, the author of Prep, American Wife, and Sisterland names six recent novels featuring strong-willed female protagonists. The Idiot by Elif Batuman (Penguin, $16). Selin, a freshman at Harvard in the mid-1990s, strikes up a correspondence with Ivan, an upperclassman, through the newfangled medium of email. Batuman makes smart and hilarious observations about language, longing, and self-consciousness. Make Your Home Among Strangers by Jennine Capó Crucet (Picador, $16). In another recent novel set in the ’90s, another freshman has traded working-class Cuban-American Miami for an elite college in upstate New York. Back in Florida, an Elián González–inspired drama unfolds; up north, Lizet navigates academic and romantic confusion. Capó Crucet is equally brilliant writing about class, sex, and what it’s like to experience snow for the first time. White Houses by Amy Bloom (Random House, $29). In this historical imagining, plucky journalist Lorena Hickok recounts her romantic relationship with Eleanor Roosevelt, including stints when “Hick” literally lived inside the White House. Hick’s hardscrabble upbringing contrasts with Eleanor’s privilege, but the two women are bound to each other by a deep love that Bloom illuminates with poignancy and humor. Break in Case of Emergency by Jessica Winter (Vintage, $16). This smart, caustic novel follows its 30-something heroine as she takes a job at a foundation ostensibly committed to improving women’s lives but perhaps equally invested in nurturing its founder’s ego. Winter writes with sharpness, nuance, and compassion about female friendship, feminist hypocrisy, and infertility. Silver Sparrow by Tayari Jones (Algonquin, $16). Jones’ justly acclaimed An American Marriage is a recent Oprah’s Book Club pick; this 2011 novel is equally wonderful. Its teenage narrators are half sisters whose father is a bigamist, a situation Jones makes complex. She also magnificently captures details of teenage girlhood that are at once universal and specific to 1980s Atlanta. Conversations With Friends by Sally Rooney (Hogarth, $16). Frances is a student and aspiring writer who becomes involved with a married, older actor. The dialogue is superb, as are the insights about communicating in the age of electronic devices. Rooney has a magical ability to write scenes of such verisimilitude that even when little happens they’re suspenseful. Also of interest...in authoritarians past and present Fascism Orban by Madeleine Albright (Harper, $28) by Paul Lendvai (Oxford, $30) On this book’s subject, Madeleine Albright “writes with rare authority,” said The Economist. The former secretary of state twice in childhood fled authoritarian rule in Czechoslovakia, and she deplores the sloppy use of “fascist”—declaring that in 2018 only North Korea’s regime qualifies. But Albright’s restraint “does not mean she is sanguine.” Donald Trump, she writes, is modern America’s first “antidemocratic” president, and she’s worried now that our democratic institutions might not hold. “In a country as inscrutable as Hungary,” journalist Paul Lendvai “makes a valuable guide,” said James Kirchick in The Wall Street Journal. His new book is a biography of Viktor Orban that paints the prime minister as a dangerous figure—a power-hungry opportunist who exploits voters’ xenophobic impulses. Though Lendvai’s distaste for the man blinds him to the legitimacy of certain public worries that Orban’s strongman act has answered, this is “an otherwise convincing indictment.” The Death of Democracy The Infernal Library by Benjamin Carter Hett (Holt, $30) by Daniel Kalder (Holt, $30) It’s always worth remembering that Hitler did not act alone in creating the Nazi state, said Steve Donoghue in OpenLettersReview.com. This “lean, eloquent” history of the Nazis’ rise underscores how would-be opponents failed to adequately defend Germany’s democratic institutions, whether by risking political alliance with Hitler, echoing the contempt he poured on “the system,” or depending on a resistance that never materialized. This is “clear, fast-paced” history, “laden with implicit warnings.” Reading this survey of tyrants’ writings, “one longs for the heavy boot of a dictatorial editor,” said Bill Marvel in DallasNews.com. Though author Daniel Kalder deserves points for slogging through the often unreadable prose and poetry of Hitler, Stalin, Mao, and many other despots, he buries us in his findings. “Read one dictator, it seems, you’ve read them all.” And Kalder overwrites besides. “His book is merely interesting when it could have been revelatory, even useful.” Josephine Sittenfeld, Kaliel Roberts Author of the week Review of reviews: Film & Stage ARTS 25 become.” An “incredibly erotic” The lesbian affair at the censex scene between Ronit and ter of Sebastián Lelio’s new Directed by Sebastián Lelio drama creates “a fascinatingly Esti arrives late in Act 2, but “I (R) cannot emphasize how respectconflicted tug of war,” said ful and immersive a portrait this David Ehrlich in IndieWire ++++ movie is,” said Jada Yuan in .com. Rachel Weisz stars as an Two old friends rekindle a NYMag.com. Lelio, who just expat whose return to London forbidden love. won a foreign-language Oscar for the funeral of her rabbi for A Fantastic Woman, presents father re-sparks a decades-old Esti’s faith as worthy of her pasromance with a onetime teenage Soul mates McAdams and Weisz sion, too, and Esti’s husband, the friend, and Rachel McAdams community’s likely new rabbi, is no religious tyrant. is “something of a revelation” in the mildly underHe’d been a close friend to both women once, and written secondary role. Her Esti long ago chose to Alessandro Nivola delivers a “career-best” performarry and remain part of the Orthodox community mance in the role, said Andrew Barker in Variety. Weisz’s Ronit fled, and her performance “allows “None of these three characters is tidy, but neither is Disobedience to unfold as a story about Ronit desire, nor faith, nor love.” falling in love with the woman she didn’t want to Disobedience I Feel Pretty Directed by Abby Kohn and Marc Silverstein (PG-13) ++++ A cracked-mirror view of ‘average’ looks depressing.” If I Feel Pretty Amy Schumer, as a stand-up offends, though, “it’s because comedian and sketch performer, of its blandness, not its political “has long been spot-on and ruthincorrectness,” said Aisha Harris lessly funny about body issues in Slate.com. Schumer has made and self-esteem,” said Michael the same joke work, just not Phillips in the Chicago Tribune. over and over again. Here, we So, how to explain her now can at least be thankful that the headlining in this two-faced, principle female characters don’t “weirdly scrambled” quasiturn on one another, and that empowerment movie? Schumer Reborn: Schumer with Sasheer Zamata Michelle Williams is hilarious as plays an insecure cosmetics-firm employee who decides, after a bump to the head, that a beauty-industry CEO with an absurdly girlish voice. Schumer pours so much energy into her role that she’s as conventionally sexy as she’d always wished “it’s hard not to feel charged up, too,” said Manohla she could be. Unfortunately, because her confident Dargis in The New York Times. “But dear lord she new self repeatedly struts her stuff and attracts disneeds to work with better material.” dainful looks for doing so, “the movie is frankly Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Bleecker Street, Mark Schäfer, Manuel Harlan Lyric Theater, New York City, (877) 250-2959 ++++ Harry Potter made his stage debut in midtown Manhattan this past weekend, and “Broadway will never be the same,” said Marc Snetiker in Entertainment Weekly. In a two-part, five-hour production that now stands as the most expensive nonmusical ever presented on a New York stage, the boy wizard of J.K. Rowling’s seven-book saga has matured into fatherhood and bequeathed the protagonist role to his middle child, Albus. But despite Harry’s playbill demotion, there should be no complaints from Potter devotees about how this show extends the tale. Before it’s anything else, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is “a worthy play” bolstered by strong performances. The staging, though, lifts the experience to a higher plane. A drama about teenage wizards calls for magical effects, and the dozens of illusions we witness add up to a spectacle that “redefines the possibilities of theater.” Despite the otherworldly magic, “it is impossible not to identify with most of the people onstage,” said Ben Brantley in new sidekick (a “show-stealing” Anthony Boyle) stumble upon a time machine, they use it to try to rewrite the past and also to better understand their elders. Parentchild dynamics are everything here, and the show “knows exactly how, and how hard, to push the tenderest spots of most people’s emotional makeups.” Parker and Clemmett: A father-son thing The New York Times. Harry, played by an “irresistibly anxious” Jamie Parker, is now a 37-year-old Ministry of Magic bureaucrat who’s sending his son off to his alma mater in the opening scene and has yet to make peace with the boy’s apparent failure to inherit the old man’s wizarding prowess. Though Albus, played by Sam Clemmett, will make new friends at Hogwarts, including with the nerdy son of Harry’s former nemesis, his alienation from his father remains a challenge. When Albus and his Still, you’ve probably seen plenty such intergenerational dramas before, and this one’s awfully expensive, said Dan Kois in Slate.com. Parts 1 and 2 of the show each require separate tickets—even during weekend performances when the two halves run back-to-back—and those tickets run from nearly $40 to $286. So, here’s an idea: Read the published script, so you can skip Part 1 and its sometimes “painfully clunky” dialogue. Part 2, besides featuring all of the production’s “most wondrous” effects, offers opportunity enough to appreciate what the Potter team has achieved. “In its best, most astonishing moments,” this show “can make audiences believe that magic is real.” THE WEEK May 4, 2018 Movies on TV Monday, April 30 Born Yesterday A journalist is hired to tutor the girlfriend of a tycoon and ends up falling for his pupil. With William Holden and Judy Holliday. (1950) 8 p.m., TCM Tuesday, May 1 Glory Denzel Washington, Morgan Freeman, and Matthew Broderick co-star in a stirring period drama about an all-black Union infantry regiment. (1989) 9:30 p.m., Ovation Wednesday, May 2 Invictus Nelson Mandela turns to a rugby team for help in uniting post-apartheid South Africa. Clint Eastwood directs, with Matt Damon as the team captain and Morgan Freeman as Mandela. (2009) 8 p.m., Cinemax Thursday, May 3 The Social Network How Facebook began, in David Fincher and Aaron Sorkin’s ingenious retelling. Jesse Eisenberg leads a Millennial all-star cast. (2010) 5:30 p.m., IFC Friday, May 4 Galaxy Quest Tim Allen, Sigourney Weaver, and Alan Rickman co-star as actors from a Star Trek–like TV series who are thrust into a reallife battle with aliens. (1999) 11 p.m., IFC Saturday, May 5 The Ox-Bow Incident Two itinerant cowboys help a town form a posse to track down the killers of a local cattle rancher. Henry Fonda stars. (1943) 10:15 p.m., TCM Sunday, May 6 Avatar Director James Cameron imagines a future in which an advanced alien civilization and its gorgeous planet are threatened by a human mining operation. (2009) 6:10 p.m., HBO THE WEEK May 4, 2018 Television The Week’s guide to what’s worth watching AMC Visionaries: James Cameron’s Story of Science Fiction The genre that traffics in visions of the future has a very rich past. In this six-part series, James Cameron, director of The Terminator, Aliens, and Avatar, will bring in other celebrated filmmakers and stars to explore sci-fi’s history by looking at six big questions it has helped us think about. Up first: how H.G. Wells sparked our endless interest in the possibility of alien life. Monday, April 30, at 10 p.m., AMC Being Serena Serena Williams has already divided the history of women’s tennis into two eras: before and after her arrival. Now 36 and a mother for the first time, she is working her way back into the game a year after winning her 39th Grand Slam title— while pregnant. This five-part documentary series offers an intimate look at her life now, a plush life where there’s still room for the fear of failure. Begins Wednesday, May 2, at 10 p.m., HBO Dear White People The first season of Dear White People, based on the movie of the same name, garnered raves for its comic portrayal of a group of black students constantly battling the prevailing white culture at a fictional Ivy League school. As Season 2 begins, Logan Browning’s Samantha White and the rest of the crew are trying to pick up the pieces in the wake of a failed protest and explosive town hall meeting. Master of None’s Lena Waithe joins the cast as a wackadoodle MC on sabbatical from a hit reality TV show. Available for streaming Friday, May 4, Netflix The Jazz Ambassadors At the height of the Cold War, jazz answered the call when America most needed it. This musicsteeped documentary revisits a federal program that sent Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Benny Goodman, and other greats on global concert tours aimed at undermining Soviet propaganda about the racial divide in the U.S. No doubt these cats did jazz proud, in part by refusing to lie about life back home. Friday, May 4, at 10 p.m., PBS; check local listings Being Serena: The star at home, learning new skills I’m Dying Up Here Like the comedians it portrays, this drama series about Los Angeles’ 1970s comedy scene struggled to find an early audience. But the rich period details and strong performances by Melissa Leo and others argue for giving the show another look. Brad Garrett, of Everybody Loves Raymond, will join the cast as Roy Martin, a legendary funnyman who partners with Leo’s comedy club doyenne. Sunday, May 6, at 10 p.m., Showtime Other highlights Independent Lens: True Conviction In this prizewinning documentary, three once wrongfully convicted Texans create a detective agency to clear other innocents trapped behind bars. Monday, April 30, at 10 p.m., PBS; check local listings 2018 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony The church of rock adds more cowbell as the Moody Blues finally win entry, along with the Cars, Nina Simone, Dire Straits, and Sister Rosetta Tharpe. Oh, and Bon Jovi. Saturday, May 5, at 8 p.m., HBO Vida In a new drama series set in East L.A., two sisters return home when their mother dies and learn she had a wife who’s the third co-heir of the family bar. Sunday, May 6, at 8 p.m., Starz Show of the week Cobra Kai Zabka and Macchio meet again. What Karate Kid fan hasn’t wondered what became of Daniel LaRusso and his nemesis, Johnny “Sweep the Leg” Lawrence? This satirical sequel, which picks up decades after Daniel-san crane-kicked his way to victory at the under-18 All-Valley karate tournament, finds LaRusso a successful local car dealer, while Lawrence is a deadbeat suddenly inspired to re-open the Cobra Kai dojo and teach his ruthless fighting style to a new generation. Some rivalries never die. And the ultimate kick? Both original actors, Ralph Macchio and William Zabka, are back. Available for streaming Wednesday, May 2, YouTube Red • All listings are Eastern Time. HBO, YouTube Red 26 ARTS LEISURE Food & Drink 27 Salmon nabe: A one-pot that makes any dinner a party For young people in Japan, nabemono, or one-pot meals, have become the go-to for entertaining, says Nancy Singleton Hachisu in Japan: The Cookbook (Phaidon). “Effortless to put together,” a nabemono also allows everyone at the table to participate in the cooking, “which makes it fun.” Turn burner to medium-high and cook at a lively simmer until done, about 5 minutes. Divide fish and vegetables among small bowls, and add some broth to each bowl. Each person should season with ponzu to taste—1 to 2 tsp per ½ cup broth—and sprinkle in a pinch of yuzu or lemon zest. Replenish pot with another round of ingredients, and once cooked, ladle out second helpings. Serves 6. All the ingredients, including konbu (dried kelp) and ponzu (a citrusy soy sauce), are easy to find in American markets these days. You can always make a nabemono at the stove, but it’s worth investing in a tabletop burner and a donabe—a special flameproof earthenware casserole. Enjoymentwise, “you will get back above and beyond what you spend.” Altaimage, Newscom Recipe of the week Salmon nabe ½ whole salmon, gutted and scaled 2 pieces konbu (6 inches each) 2 blocks momendofu (Japanese-style soft tofu), 10½ oz each, cut into eighths Layered napa cabbage and spinach (recipe below), cut into 12 pieces ½ small daikon, halved lengthwise and sliced ½ inch thick 12 medium shiitake caps, halved 4 medium negi (long onions) or 12 fat scallions, cut in 1½-inch lengths Ponzu, for serving 1 tbsp slivered yuzu or Meyer lemon zest Layered cabbage 8 large leaves napa cabbage 14 oz spinach leaves Part soup, part abstract composition Cut salmon crosswise diagonally at 1-inch intervals, then into 2-inch chunks. Mound on a platter large enough for all ingredients. In a large donabe or flameproof Dutch oven, combine 2 quarts water and the konbu and bring to a boil over high heat. Place konbu broth on a tabletop burner; set to low simmer. Arrange tofu, layered cabbage pieces, daikon, shiitake, and negi on platter with salmon. Bring platter to the table and mound half of each ingredient in the pot of konbu broth, keeping mounds in separate areas rather than combining them. Bring a medium pot of water to a boil over high heat. Using tongs, lower stem ends of cabbage into the water and cook 1 minute, then submerge leaves and cook 30 seconds. Remove and drain in a wire-mesh sieve. Set up a bowl of cold water. Hold stem ends of spinach in boiling water 30 seconds, then submerge leaves another 30. Scoop out with a wire-mesh sieve and plunge into cold water to refresh. Divide cabbage into four piles and spinach into three. Smooth a layer of cabbage across the bottom of an 8-inch square pan. Smooth a layer of spinach on top and continue layering, ending with cabbage. Set pan in sink and press firmly with your palms to remove and drain liquid. Let sit 15 minutes before inverting pan and cutting into 12 pieces. Three meals in Bend, Ore.: A beer haven that’s learning to eat Scotch: The old faithfuls Bend, Ore., keeps inding new ways to punch above its weight, said Dina Mishev in The Washington Post. The sunny, high-desert town of 91,000 on the Deschutes River is an outdooradventure mecca that’s become famous for its many craft breweries. “But man cannot subsist on beer alone, even if it’s some of the best beer in the country,” and Bend’s chefs are stepping up to the challenge. As a day of dining out will tell you, “the restaurants here innovate and execute far above what you’d expect for a former mill town.” Downtown Bend: Big in its ambitions McKay Cottage “There’s no beating an alfresco breakfast here,” especially at a shaded table on the lawn. But the converted Craftsman bungalow itself is “grandmotherly cute,” and the food’s great indoors or out. Try the house version of eggs Benedict, made with Dijon hollandaise and a rosemary English mufin, or French toast made from croissants. 62910 O.B. Riley Road, (541) 383-2697 Wild Oregon Foods You leave cute behind to lunch at this modern farm-to-table diner that sits next to a Nike outlet store outside of town. But after the bison mac ’n’ cheese or a braised corned beef slider with pickled cabbage and smoked aioli, you’ll agree that owners Sarah and James Fink were smart to put their money in the food instead of the real estate. “Lunch-friendly” cocktails include a vodka concoction with ginger beer and beet juice. 61334 S. Highway 97, Suite 360, (541) 668-6344 Zydeco Kitchen & Cocktails This Cajun and Creole–inspired eatery mixes Acadian classics with local provisions. Think Skuna Bay salmon with black rice, or blackened redish with Dungeness crabmeat. Naturally, the bar serves local beers, and cocktails made with Crater Lake spirits. 919 NW Bond St., (541) 312-2899 Remember blended scotch? asked Eric Asimov in The New York Times. Sales are way down in recent decades, but blends still far outsell more celebrated single malts, so our tasting panel recently gave 20 blends a spin. In a quality blend, malt whisky is complemented by the addition of grain whisky. Though blends are far less distinctive—and well-regarded Pinch wasn’t in our test group—“we all found a lot to like.” Buchanan’s Master ($48/750ml). Our favorite blend “epitomizes the category”: It’s “smoky but not too smoky,” rich and creamy, and offers lingering malt flavors. Teacher’s Highland Cream ($24/ liter). The runner-up is a great value, delivering “assertive flavors of peat and malt,” plus a pleasant smokiness. Johnnie Walker Black Label ($55/liter). This smooth, everpopular 12-year blend offers complex flavors of smoke, flowers, and chocolate. THE WEEK May 4, 2018 Travel 28 LEISURE This week’s dream: A mother-daughter vacation on Lake Como I’m at the wheel of a sleek Cantiere Ernesto Riva motorboat, zooming across Italy’s Lake Como with my mother, when disaster seemingly strikes, said Sara Lieberman in The Washington Post. A gust of wind has lifted some papers, and I fear our right to pilot this gorgeous boat— “at a whopping $190 an hour”—has just disappeared overboard. “Mom!” I shout over the engine. “Where is the permit?” Digging around in the bow, she emerges triumphant, waving the laminated papers over her head. Relieved, we resume the important mission at hand: trying to spot George Clooney’s villa among the gorgeous homes that dot the shore. “There!” I say. “I think it’s that one.” The villa looks quiet, so we creep closer, wondering aloud what it would be like to have cocktails with the Clooneys. I’d met up with my mom two days earlier in Milan. After just an hour’s drive, we were lakeside, watching the sunset and sipping spritzes—that wonderful Italian drink Inside the lending library The Elizabeth Hotel Fort Collins, Colo. This modern luxury property is a musician’s paradise, said Joshua Berman in The Denver Post. Besides having a live-music bar, the 164room Elizabeth Hotel features a guitar-lending library full of high-end stringed instruments guests can strum in the lobby or sign out for a jam in their rooms. When my friend and I were in town to see a bluegrass show, we pregamed with some moonshine, a Heartland top-tension banjo, and a topof-the-line, $5,500 Collings MF-GT F-style mandolin. “It’s hard to overstate the kids-ina-candy-store feelings that were washing over us.” theelizabethcolorado.com; doubles from $200 THE WEEK May 4, 2018 The author’s mom, on the hunt for Clooney’s villa made, in this case, with Aperol, Prosecco, and a splash of soda. The next morning, we caught a ferry to the Grand Hotel Tremezzo, a “very Wes Anderson” edifice created from a former palace that looms over the lake. We had scheduled massages at the hotel’s spa, and on our walkthrough, we peeked in on opulent lounges with jewel-colored couches and art nouveau ceilings “fit for royalty.” Still glistening That evening we dined at Silvio, a fivegeneration establishment known for its stunning setting and a famous dish: fresh lake perch served with a truffle-andParmesan cream sauce. Our last day was supposed to be our “chill day”—reading and sipping spritzes beside our hotel’s infinity pool. But I’d got antsy looking at that stunning Riva motorboat. “Its shiny teak exterior had been enticing me ever since I saw it bopping in the water on our first day.” Soon, we were skipping across the sparkling lake. “The only thing missing was that fizzy orange drink.” At Il Sereno Lago di Como (serenohotels .com), rates start at $986 a night. Getting the flavor of... Five days on Mount Rainier The real story of Jamestown I’ve been many places in my career as a travel writer, but “perhaps my dearest memory” was made close to home, said Brian Cantwell in The Seattle Times. In 2013, my daughter and I spent five days hiking a northern stretch of Mount Rainier’s famous Wonderland Trail, which makes a 93-mile loop around the 14,100-foot peak. We covered just 24 miles, making packs-off detours to such sites as Spray Falls—“for my money, one of the more spectacular alpine cataracts anywhere.” Our route, despite its limited span, “ranged from deep forest to flowery fairyland meadows to treeline snowfields that felt like we were on the way to Valhalla.” During breaks, we’d paint watercolors or sit by streams and play pennywhistles, and as we walked, we often burst into song. “Something about traipsing through alpine wilderness in the constant company of The Mountain”—as we locals call it—“made for an unmatched bonding experience.” American history runs deep in Jamestown, Va., said Laura Johnston in Cleveland.com. On a brisk day this spring, I took my kids to the site near the James River where, 411 years ago, 104 men and boys established the New World’s first permanent English colony. James Fort has long since disintegrated, but ongoing archaeological digs— which visitors to Historic Jamestowne can watch unfold—are revealing new details about those settlers’ lives. The skull of a 14-year-old girl found in 2012, for example, proved that starving colonists resorted to eating the dead in the winter famine of 1609–10. And skeletons unearthed inside the original church hint at religious turmoil in the colony. “Those details were over my kids’ heads,” but my daughter loved hearing about Pocahontas, even when the real story diverged from Disney’s. I had no qualms skipping a nearby attraction that includes a re-creation of the fort. “For me, the real thing was pretty incredible.” Last-minute travel deals Springtime in Rhode Island Check in at Gurney’s Newport Resort and Marina in Rhode Island in May and get a big spring discount. Rooms start at $239 a night at the Goat Island property, compared with $629 a night during the high summer season. gurneysresorts.com/newport Explore the Last Frontier Save up to $4,000 on an eightday cruise around Alaska’s Prince William Sound with Offshore Outpost Expeditions. A June 3 departure, for example, starts at $5,900. Mention The Week when booking, and call by May 15. 877-460-9757 Greetings from Asbury Park The Asbury Hotel, a boutique, rock-’n’-roll-themed property on the New Jersey shore, is offering free second nights through May 24. A two-night midweek stay in mid-May costs just $136. Book using promo code 2For1. theasburyhotel.com Sara Lieberman/The Washington Post, The Elizabeth Hotel/Autograph Collection Hotels Hotel of the week with oil after our blissful back rubs, we hopped another ferry to Bellagio, a town known as the Pearl of Lake Como for its cobblestone alleys and leafy pergolas. Feeling peckish, we stopped for some prosciutto-wrapped melon at a lakeside café. “Then, we were off to get purposefully lost among the shops.” Consumer LEISURE 29 The 2019 Volkswagen Jetta: What the critics say Automobile In a world overrun by SUVs, “a well-rounded compact sedan strangely begins to feel special.” The seventh-generation Volkswagen Jetta doesn’t aim to wow anyone, but with its new platform, sleeker exterior, cushier ride, and roomier cabin, it gives Americans ample reason to support its continued run as VW’s best-selling car. The German automaker is still master of “budget chic” interiors, and despite the new Jetta’s extra 3 inches in length, it remains a “snappy” little sedan that feels “more bolted down” than most rivals. Consumer Reports But where the Jettas of old were “taut, agile, and enjoyable to drive,” this new one is, to us, “a bit dull.” It delivers solid but lessthan-entertaining handling, and the new six-speed manual transmission is available only in the base model. Still, VW has added value—including alloy rims for all models— while cutting the entry-level price by $100. The Jetta now “piles on the comfort, ease of use, and upscale features.” New York Daily News The base engine, a 1.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder, hasn’t changed. But torque is up, and a “slick-shifting” new eight-speed automatic gearbox provides quicker acceleration, more relaxed cruising, and better fuel More ‘budget chic,’ from $18,545 economy (34 mpg on average). Though the “nuanced goodness” of the complete package won’t set many hearts aflutter, “VW has made a good compact sedan even better.” The best of...Mother’s Day box sets Champagne and Chocolates for Two Cocoa Butter Tub Truffles Clive Christian Perfume Set Mamma Mia Italian Specialties Anjou Handmade Soaps Set Indulgences are sweeter when shared, so create an instant date with a picnic hamper packed with two mini bottles of Chandon Brut sparkling wine plus Lindt fudge truffles and Ghirardelli dark chocolate. $50, gifttree.com “These truffles aren’t edible, but they are certainly a treat.” Made of cocoa butter, clay, and essential oils, each one “turns an ordinary bath into an extraordinary spa experience.” Scents include rose, mocha, lavender, and rosemary. London perfumer Clive Christian is “a master of creating long-lasting, get-you-noticed scents.” Each of the handblended perfumes in this set’s amber bottles “smells divine,” offering a range of woody, floral, and fruity notes. Mom doesn’t have to be Italian to appreciate this collection of imported specialty items, including a Tuscan olive oil, white balsamic vinegar, biscotti, a pistachio spread, olive oil hand cream, and a packet of parsley or basil seeds. A bargain gift that doesn’t look the part, this quartet of elegantly packaged soaps offers a bouquet of scents— lavender, rose, tea tree, and chamomile. Walnut particles in each bar promote gentle exfoliation. Source: GoodHousekeeping.com $32, uncommongoods.com Source: Mashable.com $225, saksfifthavenue.com Source: NYTimes.com $123, olio2go.com Source: NYTimes.com $9, amazon.com Source: WomansDay.com Tip of the week... Gourmet uses for a microwave And for those who have everything... Best apps... For accessing a computer remotely QDry herbs. Microwaves can dry hardy fresh herbs—sage, rosemary, thyme, mint—in a flash. Place the herbs in a single layer between paper towels and zap them at full power for 1 to 3 minutes. They’re done when the leaves turn brittle. QDehydrate citrus peel. Strips of citrus peel will dry in 2 to 3 minutes. Store them in an airtight container to have zest on demand. QMellow garlic. Microwaving garlic for 15 seconds reduces its bite by preventing the formation of allicin, a sulfur compound produced when garlic is cut. A bonus: Microwaved cloves are “a cinch to peel.” QDehydrate eggplant. To prep eggplant for sautéing or frying, toss cubed chunks with salt, then cover a plate with a double layer of paper towels sprayed lightly with vegetable oil. Spread eggplant out evenly and microwave 8 to 15 minutes, until shriveled. Transfer immediately to another towel-lined plate. Pure maple syrup is kid’s stuff. The new nectar of the woods is derived from the sap of a more parsimonious tree, and only 40 producers in the world have the patience to make it. Botanical Springs Birch Syrup is a ine example. “More savory than sweet,” it combines alluring flavors of molasses and citrus but tastes less suited for a pancake breakfast than for cocktails, a steak sauce, and dressings. The Massachusetts honey and syrup purveyor that makes it reports that birch syrup requires “quite a bit more sap” than its maple products. It also sells for about three times maple’s price. $25 for 3.45 oz, botanicalsprings.buzz QChrome Remote Desktop is the most straightforward of the free programs that let you access a home computer from anywhere. As with the other apps here, it must be installed on each connected computer. It uses a Google account as a login, and it works with devices running Windows, macOS, Chrome OS, or Linux. QTeamViewer requires that users register an account, and it isn’t quite as user-friendly. But it does offer some more-advanced features. You can transfer iles, record screen activity, or reboot a machine remotely. QAnyDesk isn’t as visually polished as the others, but it’s fast, simple, and “deinitely worth a look.” It works on Windows, macOS, and Linux, and it allows ile transfers. You don’t need to establish an account, and the program is portable, so once you’ve downloaded the client application, no additional installation is required. Source: Cook’s Illustrated Source: The Boston Globe Source: Gizmodo.com THE WEEK May 4, 2018 30 Best properties on the market This week: Homes with Italian influences 1 X San Antonio Everett Love commissioned renowned architects Adams and Adams to build Villa Amore for his Italian wife in 1922. The four-bedroom estate features arched doorways, Italian stenciled beams, Palladian windows opening to a balcony, and a 1000-bottle wine room. Outside are an imported marble fountain, a pool, an alfresco fireplace, and a carriage house with a one-bedroom apartment. $1,999,000. Jason Glast, San Antonio Portfolio Real Estate, (210) 386-1833 2 W Hilton Head Island, S.C. This Tuscan-style four-bedroom home on Calibogue Sound was built in 2004. Details include reclaimed beams, Italian stone, heart-of-pine floors, a 1,000-bottle wine room, and an Italian farm-style kitchen. The waterfront property offers 180-degree views, a pool, a private beach, a pavilion, and several docks giving quick access to the Intercoastal Waterway. $4,295,000. Terri and Bill Rupp, Engel & Völkers/ Hilton Head Island Bluffton, (843) 715-4422 3 X Nyack, N.Y. Palazzo Mare, built in 2001, is a five-bedroom, 15th century–style Venetian villa on the bank of the Hudson River. The ornate front door leads to an open first floor with a grand staircase, a 27-foot ceiling, and Corinthian columns. The master suite has a green marble bathroom with a spa tub. The 0.62-acre property includes a sandy beach, a pier, and a pool with a spa. $3,500,000. Richard Ellis, Ellis Sotheby’s, (914) 393-0438 THE WEEK May 4, 2018 Best properties on the market 31 4 W Venice, Calif. The four-bedroom Rialto House was built in 1905 by one of Abbot Kinney’s senior craftsmen, who was enlisted to help create Kinney’s “Venice of America.” Features include hardwood floors, Islamo-Byzantine stained-glass windows, a marble-floored sunroom, an Italiantile bathroom, and a third-floor studio bedroom with roof deck access. The corner property has a garage topped with an 840-square-foot guesthouse. $3,985,000. Penny Muck, Halton Pardee + Partners, (310) 907-6517 6 5 3 4 2 1 Steal of the week 5 S Newport, R.I. The extensive renovation of Casa del Sole, built in the early 20th century, was completed in 2017. The four-bedroom, marble-floored Palladian mansion, currently owned by former Olympic figure skater Michelle Kwan, features a chef’s kitchen, two fireplaces, and formal living and dining rooms, each opening to a loggia. The 2-acre landscaped property, just off Ocean Drive, includes a fire pit and multiple seating areas. $4,395,000. Kimberly Fleming and Michelle Drum, Gustave White/ Sotheby’s International Realty, (401) 849-3000 6 W Attica, Ind. The Rohlfing House, built in 1887, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Italianate brick home’s three-year renovation, completed in 2010, preserved period fixtures, original woodwork, oil-on-canvas wall coverings, a stained-glass window, and the kitchen’s period sink and prep room. The double lot is close to downtown and area parks. $265,000. Tommy Kleckner, Indiana Landmarks, (812) 232-4534 THE WEEK May 4, 2018 BUSINESS The news at a glance The bottom line QNearly a decade after the recession put millions of Americans out of work, 14 states have set new records for low unemployment rates in the past year. Those states run the ideological gamut, from conservative Texas to liberal California, suggesting a broad-based recovery. In March, eight states marked record unemployment lows, including Hawaii (2.1 percent), Maine (2.7 percent), and Idaho (2.9 percent). TheHill.com QIn 1983, 20 percent of all American wage and salary workers—some 17.7 million people—were union members. In 2017, 10.7 percent of workers, or 14.8 million people, were in unions. The New York Times QCompetitive video gaming is now a $1.5 billion– a-year industry and the world’s fastestgrowing spectator sport. E-sports tournaments and live streams drew 258 million unique viewers in 2017—more than watched all NFL regularseason games combined. The Wall Street Journal QThanks to tax cuts and federal spending increases, the U.S. is the only advanced economy in the world expected to increase its debt burden over the next five years. Every other developed country—including fiscal basket cases such as Greece and Italy—is projected to lower debt as a share of its economy. The Washington Post QDespite the fact that men named John represent only 3.3 percent of the U.S. population while women represent 50.8 percent, there are almost as many Johns (21) currently serving as CEOs of Fortune 500 firms as there are women (23). The New York Times THE WEEK May 4, 2018 Tech: Alphabet reports surging profit “The good news is that Google’s parent company, Google still makes insane Alphabet, unveiled blockbuster amounts of money,” said earnings this week, said Nick Dan Gallagher in The Statt in TheVerge.com. The Wall Street Journal. “That internet giant reported a 73 peris also the bad news.” cent jump in profits in the first The business recorded quarter, zooming past Wall its fastest rate of growth Street estimates “thanks in large since 2011, and it roughly part to its mammoth search doubled the ad revenue advertising machine.” Alphabet that Facebook generated generated roughly $31.2 billion Search is a money spinner. in the same period. But in sales, with its core advertising having “largely escaped the withering public business, which is responsible for 86 percent of scrutiny that has fallen upon Silicon Valley” of revenue, performing “astonishingly well.” The figure was up significantly from the $24.8 billion late, Google won’t be trumpeting its numbers too loudly. “Some of Facebook’s problems may be it recorded a year ago. Alphabet’s profits soared unique, but new regulations are unlikely to spare for the quarter, to $9.4 billion, compared with the biggest player in this business.” last year’s $5.4 billion. Markets: 10-year Treasury yields hit 3 percent “The most widely watched bond rate in the world just hit a milestone,” said Paul La Monica in CNN.com. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note, which influences rates for auto loans and mortgages, topped 3 percent this week for the first time since 2014. “For Americans, that means borrowing costs are on the way up.” The climb triggered a stock market sell-off early in the week, as investors worried that “higher interest rates may eat into corporate profits and that faster inflation is coming.” Toys: Mattel loses another CEO Mattel has appointed its fourth CEO in four years as it continues to search for answers to a prolonged sales slump, said Dana Cimilluca and Paul Ziobro in The Wall Street Journal. Margo Georgiadis, the toy company’s current CEO, exited the firm this week, after serving for only one year. Ynon Kreiz, a former studio executive, has taken over leadership of the maker of Barbie dolls and Hot Wheels cars. Mattel has struggled to adapt “to a fast-changing industry where online content and movies are increasingly critical in capturing children’s attention.” Retail: Sears CEO proposes buying retailer’s assets Sears Holdings CEO and hedge fund investor Eddie Lampert is proposing to purchase the troubled retailer’s assets, said Nathan Bomey in USA Today. Lampert’s own hedge fund revealed this week it had written to Sears “offering to work out a deal to help the distressed company raise cash.” The offer includes buying Sears’ real estate, the Kenmore brand, and other assets. If the deal were to be completed, it would compound “the reclusive executive’s financial entanglement with the retailer amid its decline.” So far, Lampert has orchestrated deals handing himself control of Sears’ “most valuable real estate.” Property: Home prices rise for 70th month in a row “Home sellers are partying like it’s 2006,” said Kathryn Vasel in CNN.com. The value of homes in the U.S. soared another 6.3 percent over the 12-month period up to February, according to the latest S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller Indices. The increase occurred despite mortgage rates climbing to their highest level in four years. Home prices have now risen 6.7 percent nationally from their peak in July 2006, and homeowners have enjoyed a continuous rise for the past 70 months. Seattle, Las Vegas, and San Francisco led the gains, all recording increases above 10 percent. The rocker who will hawk anything “Gene Simmons has rarely met a brand he won’t endorse,” said Jacquie McNish and Vipal Monga in The Wall Street Journal. The 68-year-old bass player for the ’70s rock band KISS, known for “blackand-white face paint and smoke-belching guitars,” Simmons has parlayed his flair for spectacle into a career as a pitchman for a vast array of products—from life insurance to legal marijuana to a financial advice magazine for “mom-and-pop investors.” Celebrities have always hawked products, but experts say Simmons’ pitching is “unrivaled.” Never mind that he occasionally “has little knowledge about brands he promotes or, as is the case with marijuana, has openly disdained” the product. Companies are happy to hire him anyway. “For not being an A-list celebrity, his name recognition is good,” said Bob Williams, CEO of Burns Entertainment, which helps brands find endorsers. Newscom, AP 32 Making money BUSINESS 33 Pet care: Budgeting for a four-legged friend have.” Travel is also a big issue for a pet “Your furry friends can run up a big tab owner, said Kelli Blender in People.com. over their lifetime,” said Pat Mertz Essen Depending on the airline, small dogs and and Kaitlin Pitsker in Kiplinger.com. Americats usually can travel with you for a can pet owners devoted $66.8 billion to their fee. If that’s not possible, you’ll need to pets in 2016, almost double the $38.5 billion budget for either a dog walker or sitting forked out in 2006. The first cost factor— service. and one of the biggest—is how you acquire your pet. “Buying from a pet store is rarely The largest chunk of what you can exa good idea.” The animals often come from pect to spend will go to vet bills, said “puppy mills or kitten factories.” Adopting Michael Estrin in The San Diego Unionfrom an animal shelter usually costs from Tribune. With pet-related health-care costs $20 to $350, while rescue organizations soaring—not unlike that of humans—pet charge from $150 to $400. Both are typically An adorable, if occasionally costly, buddy insurance has become a “big business,” more humane and economical than stores. with 1.6 million pets now covered in the U.S. Typical policies run Make sure the shelter or rescue group is well established and about $50 per month. Helpfully, you don’t have to worry about “documents the completion of vaccinations and neutering.” out-of-network care. “Unlike health insurance for humans, most pet insurance policies do not limit pet owners to a network of Nobody wants to put a price tag on “the companionship of approved veterinarians.” You also shouldn’t assume your pet is a four-legged friend,” said Elizabeth O’Brien in Money.com. too old to qualify. Age limits vary by insurance company, but a But it’s not unreasonable to map out your animal’s costs and number of firms insure dogs and cats up to age 14, while others incorporate them into your budget. “You don’t want to reach have no age restrictions. You might also consider insurance “for a point where unexpected expenses force you to give up your beloved pup, or where they crowd out all other financial priori- your dog’s bite, as well as its bark,” said Beth Pinsker in Reuters .com. There were 18,522 liability claims for dog-related confronties.” Unforeseen costs abound. If you’re a renter, for instance, most landlords demand a deposit or nonrefundable fee when an tations last year in the U.S., with insurance payouts averaging $37,051 per incident. “Dogs of any size or breed can inflict serianimal joins the family. Experts suggest immediately opening ous damage.” Dog bites are often included in the liability portion a rainy-day pet fund as soon as you pick up your new friend. of renters or homeowners insurance policies, so check yours, as “That way, you won’t get blindsided by any pet-related rental “inadequate coverage can invite lawsuits.” fees, or the bill when Fluffy swallows something she shouldn’t What the experts say A break for savers? Interest rates are on the rise, said Matt Phillips in The New York Times, but chances are “you’re still not making much on your bank account.” Major banks “are almost always slow to lift deposit rates” on CDs and savings accounts, but they “are being even slower than usual” in the current environment. “One reason is that banks don’t really need the money,” since loan growth has been sluggish and they have ample deposits on hand. Another reason: After a decade of near-zero rates, many depositors “seem almost to have forgotten that they’re supposed to get something in exchange for their money.” Internet-only banks are an attractive alternative. Deposit rates for online-only accounts now average more than 1.4 percent; by comparison, savings accounts at major banks average 0.06 percent. Valerie Reiss Student loans and your retirement “No parent wants to be the spoiler of big college dreams,” said Gail MarksJarvis in Reuters .com. But helping your college-bound child at any cost can have a lasting impact on your own financial future—and significantly push back your retirement date. A record number of parents now enter their 60s holding “crippling debt left over from their children’s college Charity of the week years.” Americans over age 60 have more than $66 billion in student loan debt, at an average $23,500 per person. If you have children close to college age, be honest and realistic with your kids about what schools you can afford. Federal PLUS loans have no limits on borrowing, so they can be a tempting source of money for parents, but beware: They currently charge a hefty 7 percent interest. “The best bet is to avoid the debt in the first place.” Gifting your grandchild an education If your grandchild lives in a different state and you want to set up a 529 savings plan for her, “first check whether your state offers a tax break for your contributions,” said Kimberly Lankford in Kiplinger.com. Putting money in a 529 plan allows a beneficiary to use the funds tax free to cover tuition and any other fees at all public and private colleges; thanks to the new tax law, up to $10,000 of 529 money each year can also be used tax free to pay tuition for kindergarten through 12th grade too. Thirty states offer tax breaks for 529 contributions. Each state’s rules differ in terms of the amount you can contribute annually before taxes kick in. “If your state doesn’t offer a tax break, shop for a plan based on its investment choices, fees, and other details.” Children in low-income households who aren’t literate by third grade are 13 times less likely to graduate high school than their more well-off peers. Understanding that early literacy is a key to success, Literacy Inc. (lincnyc.org) works with elementary schools and community centers to develop a love for reading in high-need neighborhoods around New York City. In partnership with schools, the charity pairs older students with kindergartners through second-graders to have weekly read-aloud sessions. It also trains parents to implement LINC reading activities in their community and to support reading at home. Finally, LINC holds community reading events at local libraries and parks. LINC serves more than 8,000 children each year, and its programs have helped to increase reading rates in participants’ homes by 20 percent. 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. THE WEEK May 4, 2018 Best columns: Business 34 Energy: Why oil is getting more expensive A limit to Wells Fargo’s penalties James Stewart The New York Times Let’s hear it for internships Andy Kessler The Wall Street Journal THE WEEK May 4, 2018 Is the government’s decision to slap a $1 billion fine on beleaguered Wells Fargo just “beating a dead horse?” asked James Stewart. Last week’s record penalty, for selling unnecessary products to customers, comes on top of the $185 million fine the bank paid in 2016 for its fake-accounts scandal, as well as the $4.25 billion it set aside for liabilities related to that scandal and to precrisis mortgage-backed securities. There was also the unprecedented punishment meted out in February by the Federal Reserve, which barred the bank from growing until it fixed its many problems. Now, “I’ve been a harsh critic” of Wells Fargo’s “culture of rule breaking and customer abuse,” and of the previous management’s pattern of marginalizing and even firing “anyone at the bank with the courage and integrity to try to stop the illegal practices.” But I wonder if it’s time to turn the page. The executives responsible for the bank’s abhorrent practices are gone, and the board “has been purged.” Thousands of employees and middle managers have been fired, and shareholders “have been battered” by a 16 percent drop in the stock. Wells will continue to pay a financial price for its misdeeds for years; a slew of civil lawsuits ensures that. “At this point it’s hard to imagine what more Wells Fargo can do (or how much more it can spend) to make amends.” “It’s that time of year,” said Andy Kessler. Students hoping to land summer internships are inundating the inboxes of potential employers with their résumés, and I’m hoping managers hire as many as possible. “Pay them? Don’t pay them? It doesn’t matter. Just let them in the door.” In the early 1980s, I landed an internship at Hewlett-Packard in Silicon Valley. I coded math functions for a future minicomputer, sleeping on the floor of a furnitureless apartment and borrowing a friend’s bike to save what little money I had. It was very much worth my while. There’s nothing better for college students than plopping them in the middle of some exciting enterprise. “It almost doesn’t matter what the company does; good interns absorb it all.” And managers would be wise to inject these young people into the center of whatever their business does. “The payback usually comes in the form of a single good idea, one productive change that fresh eyes will see.” Of course, “many poor or disadvantaged students can’t afford to work for nothing.” That’s why it’s time for universities to do a better job helping to fund internships. Sure, it may just be “a tuition rebate,” but the best interns often get hired back after graduation. “The more students who find productive jobs, the better off we’ll all be.” Newscom decade ago. That has helped stabilize “Donald Trump is not happy about the the global oil market and “kept big price of oil,” said Jordan Weissman in price rises in check.” But it’s also beSlate.com. The president recently chided coming clear that “there are limits” to the Organization of the Petroleum Exshale’s growth. A shortage of pipelines porting Countries, suggesting the cartel and workers could slow output over was manipulating global oil supplies in the next two years, and U.S. refineries, order to drive up prices, which this week “generally designed for heavier crudes, briefly topped $75 a barrel, the highest are reaching a saturation point for in more than three years. “Looks like the lighter shale oil produced around OPEC is at it again,” Trump tweeted. Texas and North Dakota.” That’s given “Oil prices are artificially Very High! OPEC a window of opportunity to inNo good and will not be accepted!” The price of a barrel of oil is at a three-year high. fluence prices—which it’s done. Trump’s The cost of oil is up roughly 46 percent over last year, and with demand climbing, drivers have seen prices rant about more expensive oil “misses a new reality,” anyway, said Sho Chandra in Bloomberg.com. The idea of cheap oil being at the pump also soar to three-year highs. The last time oil was an unalloyed good for Americans “harks back to an earlier era,” north of $70 a barrel, prices “were in the middle of a steep colwhen lower prices would boost consumption and keep business lapse,” said Stephanie Yang and Alison Sider in The Wall Street costs down. But with the U.S. on track to overtake Russia as the Journal. It was 2014, and the U.S. shale boom and the resumpworld’s largest oil producer by next year, a large chunk of the tion of drilling in Libya had resulted in a global glut of crude, American economy now stands to benefit from higher prices. causing oil prices to crater, eventually to just $26 a barrel. For two years, OPEC countries responded by pumping frantically, hoping to drive U.S. shale operators out of business. But in 2016, The Iranian nuclear deal is the next wild card for the oil market, said Charles Riley in CNNMoney.com. Iran has “ramped up prothey “reversed course” and enlisted other petrostates, such as duction since sanctions were eased” in 2015 to 3.8 million barrels Russia, to agree to major production cuts. Over time, the cartel successfully rolled back production by more than 1.5 million bar- a day—an increase of about 1 million daily barrels. If Trump tears up the accord and imposes new sanctions on Iranian energy rels a day, eliminating the global glut that had kept prices low. exports, it “would put a dent in global supply and cause prices to spike higher.” If that happens, the president could try to pressure OPEC has long been a scapegoat for American presidents, said Saudi Arabia to abandon its stated goal of pushing oil into the Clifford Krauss in The New York Times, but in truth it “doesn’t $100-a-barrel range, said David Blackmon in Forbes.com. One have the same influence it once did.” Thanks to shale drilling, the U.S. now accounts for more than 10 million of the 98 million thing is certain: If Trump is really interested in lowering oil prices, “he’s going to have to do more than tweet about it.” barrels of oil a day produced worldwide—a level unthinkable a Obituaries 35 The formidable first lady who raised a president With her brilliant white hair and trademark fake pearls, Barbara Bush was viewed by many Americans as 1925–2018 the nation’s kindly grandmother. But within the Bush family, she was known as The Enforcer. As the matriarch of one of the nation’s most powerful families, Bush employed her own considerable political skills to help her husband, George H.W. Bush, and her eldest son, George W. Bush, rise to the presidency. Throughout her husband’s career, Bush meticulously maintained an index-card library detailing the family’s social and fundraising contacts. When George H.W. finally reached the White House in 1989, their Christmas card list had grown to more than 10,000 names. She was an equally adept campaigner, winning over crowds with her down-to-earth manner and self-deprecating humor. After becoming first lady at age 63, she noted that she had become a role model for a particular cohort of American women. “My mail,” she said, “tells me a lot of fat, white-haired, wrinkled ladies are tickled pink.” Barbara Bush The daughter of a publishing executive father, Barbara Pierce “grew up in the tony New York City bedroom community of Rye,” said USA Today. She had a difficult relationship with her domineering mother, whose barbed comments about her youthful chubbiness left the future first lady with a lasting sensitivity about her weight. At 16, she caught sight of George H.W. during a Christmas dance at a Connecticut country club, said The Washington Post. “She later called him her first love and said he was the only boy she ever kissed.” The following year, George enlisted in the Navy and trained as a pilot; he named the torpedo bomber that he flew in the South Pacific “Barbara.” The couple married in 1945, and the bride, not yet 20, dropped out of Smith College. “The truth is, I just wasn’t interested,” she said in interviews. “I was just interested in George.” “After World War II, the Bushes moved to the Texas oil patch to seek their fortune,” said the Associated Press. Barbara was often left to manage their five children on her own—a sixth child, Robin, died in 1953 of leukemia at age 3—as George’s ambitions carried him from business to the highest levels of politics, including appointments as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, CIA director, and Ronald Reagan’s vice president. “This was a period, for me, of long days and short years,” she said, “of diapers, runny noses, earaches, more Little League games than you could believe possible.” Bush made more sacrifices as first lady, staying quiet about contentious issues—including her rumored support for abortion rights—“when her opinion was said to differ from her husband’s,” said The New York Times. “She was vocal, however, in championing causes of her choosing.” She was a passionate supporter of literacy campaigns, having seen her son, Neil, struggle with dyslexia, and promoted AIDS awareness when the disease was still highly stigmatized. “After her husband lost his bid for re-election to Bill Clinton in 1992, the Bushes built a home in Houston, and she delighted in being away from politics,” said Los Angeles Times. Still, George W. “repeatedly called on his mother” for advice while campaigning for and serving in the White House. When another son, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, prepared to run in 2016, she appeared more reluctant, telling an interviewer with characteristic bluntness: “We’ve had enough Bushes.” Nevertheless, she supported his decision once it was made and attacked rival Republican candidate Donald Trump as a hate-monger, demonstrating an aggressiveness that many wished to see from Jeb. She stayed smitten with George H.W. until the end, and their 73-year marriage is the longest in presidential history. Sixty years after their wedding, she described her husband as “that 80-year-old whirlwind who makes my life sing.” The champion pro wrestler who fought for authenticity In May 1963, Bruno Sammartino stepped into the ring in Madison Square Garden for his first World 1935–2018 Wide Wrestling Federation championship fight. His opponent, “Nature Boy” Buddy Rogers, was supposed to win—pro wrestling was, and remains, choreographed entertainment. But Sammartino wasn’t having any of it. He locked Rogers in a bear hug, hoisted him over his shoulder in a signature move called the pendulum backbreaker, and warned his opponent that he’d really break his back if he didn’t give up. The fight ended after just 48 seconds, marking the start of Sammartino’s record-breaking 11 years as heavyweight champion. While acknowledging that wrestling was staged, the 275-pound Italian immigrant insisted that his body proved the action was real. “I have broken [my] neck, my collarbone, both arms, wrists, knuckles, all of my ribs, my back,” Sammartino said. “It’s incredible to think people would fake that.” Melissa Golden/Redux, Newscom Bruno Sammartino Sammartino was born in the central Italian town of Pizzoferrato, said The Washington Post. When the Nazis invaded during World War II, his family sought shelter in the mountains, hiding for about a year in horrendous conditions. “In the winter,” Sammartino said, “we actually survived by eating snow.” At age 14, he moved with his mother and siblings to Pittsburgh, where his father had moved for work before the war. Weighing only 80 pounds, “he began to lift weights as a way to build up his body and overcome bullying.” Sammartino narrowly missed out on a spot on the U.S. Olympic weightlifting team in 1956 and in 1959 “set a world record by bench-pressing 565 pounds.” That same year, “Sammartino signed a $250-a-week” pro-wrestling contract, said The New York Times. Over the next two decades, the 5-foot-10 wrestler became “one of the most popular performers in the business.” He fought more than 200 bouts at Madison Square Garden and “wrestled in Australia, Spain, Mexico, Canada, and Japan.” He often “made $150,000 a year.” After retiring from the ring in 1981, Sammartino “became an outspoken critic of the company that helped make him a star,” said SBNation.com. An “old-school wrestler,” he hated the modern sport’s ubiquitous gimmicks and costumes, and “held huge disdain for a culture of steroid and illicit drug use.” He agreed to be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2013—by longtime friend Arnold Schwarzenegger—only after receiving assurances that the organization was clamping down on steroids. “If the general public knew how much of this was going on,” Sammartino said in 1990, “they would be shocked and devastated.” THE WEEK May 4, 2018 The last word 36 Saving Hawking’s voice In 2014, a Silicon Valley engineer got an unexpected call, said journalist Jason Fagone. Could he help rescue physicist Stephen Hawking’s distinctive voice before aging technology lost it forever? Dorsey and Hawking had first met 30 years earlier, nearly to the day. In March 1988, Hawking was visiting the University of California, Berkeley, during a three-week lecture tour. Hawking liked the voice just the way it was, and had stubbornly refused other options. But now the hardware was showing wear and tear. If it failed, his distinctive voice would be lost to the ages. The solution, Wood believed, was to replicate the decaying hardware in new software, to somehow transplant a 30-year-old voice synthesizer into a modern laptop— without changing the sound of the voice. What did Dorsey think? Hawking liked his robotic tone and rejected opportunities to upgrade. At 46, Hawking was already famous for his discoveries about quantum physics and black holes, but not as famous as he was about to be. His best-seller, A Brief History of Time, was a week away from release, and Californians were curious about this British professor from the University of Cambridge, packing the seats of his public talks, approaching him at meals. When Hawking spoke, it was in the voice of a robot, a voice that emerged from a gray box fixed to the back of his motorized wheelchair. The voice synthesizer, a commercial product known as the CallText 5010, was a novelty then, not yet a part of his identity; he’d begun using it just three years before, after the motor-neuron disease amyotrophic lateral sclerosis stole his ability to speak. Hawking selected bits of text on a video screen by moving his cheek, and the CallText turned the text into speech. At the start of one lecture, Hawking joked about it: “The only problem,” he said, to big laughs, “is that it gives me an American accent.” Dorsey was with Hawking for part of that trip, tagging along as a sort of authority on the voice, explaining its workings to journalists. He worked at the Mountain View, Calif., company that manufactured the CallText 5010, a hardware board with two computer chips running custom software. An upbeat 32-year-old, Dorsey was quiet by nature, but driven. He had joined Speech Plus as an intern, attracted by its mission to help the voiceless and the disabled; now he THE WEEK May 4, 2018 led a team of engineers, and at least 20,000 lines of his own code were in the CallText. At the end of his California tour, the physicist gave Dorsey a signed copy of his new book, his thumbprint pressed onto the inside cover. Hawking returned to Cambridge, Dorsey to his life in California. Twenty-six years went by before they would cross paths again. In tech years, that is a millennium. The internet happened. Silicon Valley boomed, busted, boomed again. Apple, Amazon, Facebook, Google, Uber. Dorsey, meanwhile, left Speech Plus, which went bankrupt and was sold to a series of other companies. He got married and had kids. He joined a Buddhist temple. He eventually left the field of speech technology altogether, becoming an engineering leader at DVR maker TiVo. Tech, he’d learned, moves so fast. “There’s a new iPhone every year,” Dorsey says. “Everything just kind of gets buried in the dustbin of history very, very quickly.” That’s why, when an email from Cambridge University arrived out of the blue in 2014, Dorsey was surprised. It came from Hawking’s technical assistant, Jonathan Wood, who was responsible for Hawking’s communications systems. Wood explained something so improbable that Dorsey had trouble understanding at first: Hawking was still using the CallText 5010 speech synthesizer, a version last upgraded in 1986. In nearly 30 years, he had never switched to newer technology. Thirty years old? he thought. Oh, my God. It wouldn’t be easy. They might have to locate the old source code. They might have to find the original chips and the manuals for those chips. They couldn’t buy them anymore, the companies don’t exist. Solving the problem might mean mounting an archaeological dig through an antiquated era of technology. But it was for Stephen Hawking. “Let’s get it done,” Dorsey said. T ODAY’S SYNTHESIZED VOICES, like Apple’s Siri, rely on prerecorded libraries of natural sound. Voice actors record huge libraries of words and syllables, and software chops them up and reassembles them into sentences on the fly. But 30 years ago, computers could produce only a “stick-figure version” of a human voice, says Patti Price, a speech recognition specialist in Palo Alto. Back then, she worked as a postdoc in the Massachusetts Institute of Technology lab of Dennis Klatt, a tall, thin, opera-loving scientist originally from Wisconsin. Klatt is the godfather of Hawking’s voice. He blasted his own throat with X-rays to measure the shape of his voice box as he articulated certain sounds and then developed a software model of speech, the Klatt Model, based on his own voice. Speech Plus took Klatt’s model, improved on it, and commercialized it, including the CallText 5010. One of Dorsey’s contributions was to write an algorithm that controlled the intonation of the voice, the rise and fall of words and sentences. Speech Plus would sell thousands of CallText sys- AP E 62-yearold engineer in Palo Alto, Calif., was watching TV in mid-March when he started getting texts that Stephen Hawking had died. He turned on the news and saw clips of the famed physicist speaking in his iconic android voice—the voice that Dorsey had spent so much time as a young man helping to create, and then, much later, to save from destruction. RIC DORSEY, A The last word tems, though many customers complained that the voice sounded too robotic. But Hawking liked it. True, it was robotic, but he appreciated that it was easy to understand: “noise-robust,” as Price explains. The shape of its waveform was more like a series of plateaus than the steep mountain cliffs of human voices, which fall off more sharply. The flattish slope of Hawking’s voice made it cut through noise in amphitheaters and lecture halls. “It’s very intelligible,” Dorsey says. “You can listen to it for a long time, and it’s not irritating.” Over the years, Hawking had chances to upgrade. In 1996, a Massachusetts speech technology company called Nuance, which had acquired the remains of Speech Plus, upgraded the CallText with evolved software code that made the voice sound fuller and faster, less robotic, with shorter pauses between sentences. It had the feel of a mad scramble through an earlier era of technology. But people everywhere leaped at the chance to help. “The goal is to save his voice,” Dorsey said. “Once you go to somebody—‘I need you to help save Stephen Hawking’s voice’ — they immediately wake up.” The breakthrough came just before Christmas 2017, when the emulator finally started producing sounds that resembled the familiar voice they had been chasing. It had some minor glitches, but the voice was an acoustical match to Hawking’s, the waveforms virtually identical. Dorsey’s archaeological quest for old code turned out to be a frustrating one. No one at Nuance was able to find the source code from the 1986 version of CallText. They did, however, find the code for the upgraded 1996 version of the voice, on a backup tape in an office in Belgium. After a few months of work, Nuance engineers got the code up and running and sent a series of On Jan. 17, the team felt ready to demonstrate the new voice for Hawking. Wood, Wozniak, and Benie went to Hawking’s home in Cambridge and played him samples on a Linux laptop. To the team’s relief and happiness, Hawking gave his blessing. Starting around 2009, Wood and several others at Cambridge began trying to separate Hawking’s voice from the failing CallText hardware. The group would include Peter Benie, a computer guru at the university; Pawel Wozniak, a local engineering student; and Mark Green, an experienced electrical engineer with Intel. By the time Cambridge reached out to Dorsey in 2014, they were investigating a third avenue: track down the old CallText source code, now owned by Nuance, and port it to Hawking’s laptop, transplanting the old voice into a fresh new body. Getty Was it possible? Dorsey had no idea. It depended on whether he could find the source code, or, failing that, information that would let him reverse-engineer the source code. He started emailing colleagues he hadn’t seen in 30 years, asking if they had any CallText bric-a-brac still lying around: boards, chips, manuals. One guy found an actual CallText board in his garage. Others located dusty schematics. They still needed to port the voice to the PC, so temporarily, Wood loaded a version onto a miniature hardware board known as a Raspberry Pi. He thought Hawking might want to evaluate the voice in everyday life, and the Pi was the quickest way to get him up and running. On Jan. 26, Wood took the Pi along to Hawking’s house and asked if he’d like to try it out. Hawking raised his eyebrows, which meant “yes.” The team put the Pi in a tiny black box, attached it to Hawking’s chair with Velcro, and plugged it into the voice box. Then they disconnected the CallText. For the first time in 33 years, Hawking was able to speak without it. They sent Hawking a sample of the new voice, thinking he’d be pleased. He was not. He said the intonation wasn’t right. He preferred the 1986 voice. One option they considered was tweaking a modern synthetic voice like Siri to sound more like Hawking. But Siri-type systems rely on the vast computer power of internet clouds, and Hawking couldn’t be constantly tethered to the internet. Benie also tried a completely different approach. He wrote a software emulator for the CallText— essentially a program that would fool a modern PC into thinking it was actually the old CallText. But the samples it produced didn’t sound faithful enough for Hawking’s taste. 37 Wood watched eagerly for Hawking’s reaction. “I love it,” Hawking said. Hawking’s speech synthesizer audio samples to Hawking’s team, adjusting the program to try to match the 1986 voice. It didn’t quite work. The match was close but not perfect. Hawking flagged subtle differences others had trouble discerning. “It’s like recognizing your mother’s voice,” Price said. “When you hear them over the phone, you know if that’s right or not.” A they switched tacks and returned to one of their original ideas: to emulate the CallText in software, similar to how PCs can emulate old Nintendo games that aren’t sold anymore. T THIS POINT, The CallText, of course, was a more intricate beast than a Nintendo, driven by two obsolete and complexly interacting chips, one made by Intel and the other by NEC. Building the emulator demanded heroic feats of programming, intuition, and hightech surgery. The chips had to be removed from a spare CallText board with tweezers and a screwdriver. An emulator for the Intel chip had to be written from scratch, by Benie. A separate emulator, for the NEC, was borrowed from an open-source Nintendo emulator. Then all these disparate pieces had to be glued together. For the next few weeks in private conversations, Hawking continued to speak through the emulator and the Raspberry Pi, chatting happily with friends and colleagues. All that remained, the final step in the project, was to get the PC version, still a bit buggy, working smoothly. But after a few more code revisions, it was finally bug-free. And that is when Hawking got sick, in February. According to Wood, Hawking continued using the emulator until his final days. He was able to talk with his loved ones and caregivers with the new software. The original CallText boards have passed to Hawking’s estate, to use as his family wishes. So has the new software, the CallText emulator, which can be ported to future platforms as they are invented. Hawking was, famously, an atheist, skeptical of the afterlife; “We have this one life to appreciate the grand design of this universe,” he once said, “and for that, I am extremely grateful.” But there is no longer any physical reason his voice can’t live forever. Excerpted from an article that originally appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle. Reprinted with permission. THE WEEK May 4, 2018 The Puzzle Page 38 Crossword No. 454: Pulitzer Wurlitzer by Matt Gaffney 1 2 3 4 5 13 7 8 9 14 16 25 28 31 29 33 32 35 36 The Week Contest 12 21 24 27 11 18 20 23 10 15 17 19 22 6 This week’s question: A Colorado man who previously had been mauled by a bear and bitten by a rattlesnake has survived his third wildlife encounter—a shark attack in Hawaii. If Dylan McWilliams were to write a memoir about his wildlife experiences, what title could he give the book? Last week’s contest: A New York man rushed to the hospital with agonizing headaches after he scarfed a superspicy Carolina Reaper chile pepper during a peppereating contest. Please come up with a medical term for the misery caused by eating overly incendiary food. 26 30 34 THE WINNER: Jalapaiño Drew Fagan, Gualala, Calif. 37 38 40 39 41 42 SECOND PLACE: Fire-arrhea Stuart Antrim, Cleveland, Ga. THIRD PLACE: Hellitosis 44 46 45 48 51 50 54 53 58 47 55 59 56 57 60 61 63 64 65 66 67 THE WEEK May 4, 2018 For runners-up and complete contest rules, please go to theweek.com/contest. 52 62 ACROSS 1 Lovers’ quarrel 5 Cartoon explorer 9 Fantastic Mr. Fox author 13 Ambassador and Rambler automaker 14 “I’ve got this” 15 Cookie with a “mystery flavor” last fall 16 Free-jazz pioneer who won the Pulitzer Prize for Music in 2007 for his album Sound Grammar 19 Inflatable mattress brand 20 “___ Don’t Preach” (Madonna hit) 21 Neighbor of Brazil (abbr.) 22 94-year-old composer who won the Pulitzer in 1976 for Air Music 25 Tucker of country 27 Part of TGIF 28 Ten, in Toulouse 29 Friendly relationships 31 She was Phoebe on Friends 33 Building with 21 tables 35 On April 16, he became the first rapper to win the Pulitzer (for his album Damn) 40 Invigorates 41 Dalmatian feature 43 Like a triangle whose sides are all different lengths 46 Steeped drink Greg Martin, La Crescenta, Calif. 49 49 Letter that looks like a pitchfork 50 Phoebe of Gremlins 51 Rock legend who won a special-citation Pulitzer in 2008—eight years before winning the Nobel Prize in Literature 53 Yoko of “Dear Yoko” 54 Follow secretly 57 5/29/1917, for JFK 58 Jazz family scion who won the Pulitzer in 1997 for his oratorio Blood on the Fields 62 Crazy, in Colombia 63 Fuss 64 Controversial coat material 65 Canal from the Med to the Red 66 Throw off, as poll results 67 Company that created Sonic the Hedgehog DOWN 1 ___-Caps (movie theater candy) 2 Utopia 3 Ed of Elf 4 Punishment, in a Biblical phrase 5 Part of a lowercase j 6 End of the lunch hour, often 7 Costa ___ 8 Ranked first on, as a leaderboard 9 Female fawn, in the future 10 Milan fashion house 11 Court shout 12 There are two in “payday” 17 Spelling of 90210 18 Dominicana or Mexicana, e.g. 22 Org. for Raiders and Buccaneers 23 Miami Heat coach Spoelstra 24 Tax 26 Element’s particles 29 Invites for 30 www.marines.___ 32 Perspective 34 Low card in a 5-high straight 36 Inflicts upon 37 ___ Swanson (Parks and Rec role) 38 Putting into practice 39 Parks of Montgomery 42 Element with the symbol Sn 43 Nasty looks 44 “Mind taking care of this for me?” 45 Right away 47 Recedes 48 Hull House co-founder Jane 51 Knife part 52 Certain Ivy Leaguer 55 Picnic invaders 56 “How’s it going?” reply 59 From A ___ (thoroughly) 60 Line of seats 61 Music from Jamaica How to enter: Submissions should be emailed to email@example.com. Please include your name, address, and daytime telephone number for verification; this week, type “Animal man” in the subject line. Entries are due by noon, Eastern Time, Tuesday, May 1. Winners will appear on the Puzzle Page next issue and at theweek.com/puzzles on Friday, May 4. 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: 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 43 Goodnight, normal trading hours. Say hello to 24-hour trading, five days a week. TD Ameritrade is the first retail brokerage to offer around-the-clock trading on select securities. The future of trading has arrived. Get up to $600 when you open and fund an account. 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