Kanye West's latest rant was so bad it got him kicked off Twitter.
Kanye West's latest rant was so bad it got him kicked off Twitter.
The number of Americans who sought unemployment benefits last week likely numbered in the hundreds of thousands with COVID-19 seeding broad economic damage nine months after the first case was confirmed in the U.S. Until the pandemic upended the operations of American companies, from factories to family diners, weekly jobless aid applications had never exceeded 700,000 in the U.S.
The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights studied voting-rights threats during the pandemic. Conservative appointees are keeping the report from the public.
Workers protested Thursday at a Bridgestone tire factory in northern France over the company’s decision to close the plant and lay off its nearly 900 workers, accusing management of using the virus-driven economic crisis as a pretext to ruin livelihoods. Both unions and the French government denounced the closure, saying the company should have invested in modernizing the plant instead. Bridgestone has received French government aid from a program in recent years aimed at preserving jobs, and received more government funds to keep workers employed during and after this year’s virus lockdown under a generous state temporary unemployment scheme.
Democratic vice presidential nominee is married with two stepchildren
Model alleges the president forced his tongue down her throat
The IATA predicts airlines will lose $84 billion this year and international travel won't return to pre pandemic levels until 2024.
Rescue and recovery efforts underway after Sally's heavy punch, Joe Biden gets his chance under town hall lights and more things to know Thursday.
Despite rumors to the contrary, Sony will have plenty of PlayStation 5 consoles ready for launch — even more than it did PS4 units, according to Sony Interactive CEO Jim Ryan.
A former model has accused Donald Trump of sexual assault in an encounter that left her feeling “sick” and “violated” more than two decades ago. Amy Dorris alleges that the US president accosted her during the US Open tournament in New York on 5 September 1997. Ms Dorris, who was 24 at the time, told the Guardian that Mr Trump assaulted her all over her body and forced his tongue down her throat, a claim he denies. “He just shoved his tongue down my throat and I was pushing him off. And then that’s when his grip became tighter and his hands were very gropey and all over my butt, my breasts, my back, everything,” she said Ms Dorris, who is now 48, claims she was unable to escape his grip, despite telling Mr Trump “no, please stop”. “I just kind of was in shock,” she told the Guardian. “I felt violated, obviously. But I still wasn’t processing it and just was trying to go back to talking to everyone and having a good time because, I don’t know, I felt pressured to be that way.”
Street artist Banksy has lost a legal battle with a a greeting card company along with a European Union trademark for one of his most iconic artworks. The cancellation division of the EU's intellectual property office said in a ruling this week that Banksy's trademark for “Flower Thrower” was filed in bad faith and declared it “invalid in its entirety.” Also known as “Love is in The Air," the graffiti artist created the work in Jerusalem in 2005.
Trump blames 'blue states' for U.S. coronavirus death toll. Big Ten football, NCAA college basketball to return this fall. Latest COVID-19 news.
Field organizers are hitting the ground in swing states to target millions of "equality voters."
Increased numbers of Asian Americans have reported harassment, stigma, and even physical assaults amid inflammatory rhetoric about COVID-19.
Top news and what to watch in the markets on Thursday, September 17, 2020.
Federal officials in America sought to acquire a heat ray and accumulated approximately 7,000 rounds of ammunition before clearing a peaceful protest in Lafayette Square in Washington DC, according to an Army National Guard Major who was there. Major Adam DeMarco penned his claims in a letter to the House of Representatives in August in response to follow-up questions he was asked after testifying before the House Committee on Natural Resources in June. The requests for a heat ray were made as local law enforcement sought to clear protesters gathered in Lafayette Square following the death of George Floyd. President Trump had ordered the crowds to be cleared so he could conduct a photo op holding a bible outside a nearby church. During the shoot, he declared himself the “law and order President”. The contents of the letter were first reported by NPR in America. In the letter, Major DeMarco says that the Defense Department's head military police officer for the National Capitol Region emailed him to ask if the DC National Guard was in possession of “the Active Denial System” (ADS).
Two years ago, I and millions around the world were shocked to learn that after a long stint in office that had begun when most of today's world leaders were minor regional officials or television hosts, Angela Merkel would not seek a fifth term as chancellor of Germany. Now perhaps just as many of us have a hard time believing that she really intends not to run again next year, despite her recent assurances to the contrary.How could she actually go? Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, Merkel's political heir, has made a hash of leading the Christian Democratic Party, which is now seeking a new chair; despite being considered the leading candidate as recently as 2019, Kramp-Karrenbauer now says that she will not seek the chancellorship herself. Meanwhile, Merkel's handling of COVID-19 has been widely praised; after decades of making what some had considered an idol of fiscal prudence, she is now insisting upon massive public investment in the ailing European economy, dictating the terms of continental engagement with China (whose ambitions she rightly fears), and facing down Russian aggression. For years it was impolitic to say so, but it is now undeniable: Germany stands alone at the head of European affairs every bit as much as it did during the time of the Hohenstaufens and the Hohenzollerns.What is often forgotten is that for all her cunning, the most salient feature of Merkel's leadership is its undeniably moral character. (How many of her glib American admirers, I wonder, are aware that she voted against legalizing same-sex marriage in 2017 and insists to this day that "marriage is a man and a woman living together"?) It was Merkel who took it upon herself to accept one million refugees in 2015, the victims of a crisis in whose making Germany and the rest of the continent had played no meaningful part. This was not an easy decision for her or for her country, but it was necessary. Men (in this case President Obama) make messes, and it is women who clean them up, often thanklessly. For reminding the world of the obligations that wealthy nations have toward the global poor, she deserves our lasting thanks. She showed us that even in its death throes, Christian democracy and the whole world of vanished humanism that it represents is the noblest political force to have emerged out of the ashes of the Second World War.It is one thing to have the right views. It is another entirely to be able to put them into effect and another thing still to do so with the quiet intelligence and personal dignity that have been characteristic of Merkel during her many years in power. She is among many other things a welcome antidote to cloying and at times frankly condescending ra-ra girl power stylings of so many female politicians in our own country. Unlike so many world leaders of either sex, she has a genuinely fascinating (and highly enigmatic) personality, and a life outside the realm of glad-handing summits, news conferences, and soundbites. I remain steadfast in my assertion that she is the only living politician whose memoirs I would be interested in reading.How will history remember Merkel? The iron force of her personality may have been enough to continue the Christian democratic experiment in Germany long after the old post-war optimism had exhausted itself everywhere else on the continent (to say nothing of the United States). There is no indication that it will outlast her or that its twin enemies, the antinomianism of the left or the atavism of the new nationalist right, will be held in check by its moral example.But the ephemerality does not lessen her achievement. It makes it all the more remarkable.Want more essential commentary and analysis like this delivered straight to your inbox? Sign up for The Week's "Today's best articles" newsletter here.More stories from theweek.com How a productivity phenomenon explains the unraveling of America How the Trump-Russia story was buried The conservatives who want to undo the Enlightenment
The news that some rank gas on Venus is a strong (though not conclusive) indicator of microbial life outside our planet has been greeted with much enthusiasm. The truth, perhaps, is really out there, albeit far smaller and less intelligent than X-Files promised.It is also, I suggest, none of our business. The contents of the cold, empty darkness beyond Earth's orbit are not really our concern. Space is not for humans, and we should leave it alone.The physical attributes of space make this obvious. Other planets, various nonplanetary bodies, and the void of space itself are not suited to human life. It is not our home, nor will it ever be absent massive terraforming projects, which could well prove impossible or even disastrous. What is terraforming, after all, if not deliberate climate change on an unprecedented scale? Or what grim consequences could we suffer if we take our worldly conflicts to space or bring back some extraterrestrial invasive species? These questions are better left unanswered. Outer space is utterly unhospitable to us, and we should take the hint.Ah, space lovers may protest, but space exploration is a source of many benefits to humanity. Is it, though? The benefits of travel and research outside the Earth's orbit are almost entirely secondary. That is, the innovations and discoveries made in the course of work toward space exploration are telluric achievements we could have reached without involving space at all.Tab through NASA's 26-page tract of "Benefits Stemming from Space Exploration" and you'll find boasts of by-products "from solar panels to implantable heart monitors, from cancer therapy to light‐weight materials, and from water‐purification systems to improved computing systems and to a global search‐and‐rescue system." Of these, only the last item is space-specific, and it uses satellites in terrestrial orbit.Seeking to circumvent the very suggestion I am making, the NASA document quotes deeply irritating science barker Neil deGrasse Tyson. "People often ask, 'If you like spin‐off products, why not just invest in those technologies straightaway, instead of waiting for them to happen as spin‐offs?'" Tyson says. "The answer: It just doesn't work that way." He continues:> Let's say you're a thermodynamicist, the world's expert on heat, and I ask you to build me a better oven. You might invent a convection oven, or an oven that's more insulated or that permits easier access to its contents. But no matter how much money I give you, you will not invent a microwave oven. Because that came from another place. It came from investments in communications, in radar. The microwave oven is traceable to the war effort, not to a thermodynamicist. [Neil deGrasse Tyson, via NASA]This is an effective explanation of positive externalities in scientific research, but it no more proves the necessity of space exploration than the necessity of war. Scientific inquiry does not have to involve leaving Earth or killing its inhabitants on a mass scale to produce valuable spin-off products. Perhaps we would not have the exact same discoveries without space exploration, but perhaps they would have been developed through different scientific pursuits — or perhaps we'd have something better were we not wasting money mucking about on barren planets where we do not belong.If the benefits of extraorbital space exploration are far less than apologists would have us believe, the risk is far greater. The implicit suggestion, often made explicit in tellingly dystopian pop culture fantasies, is that space is our backup plan. If we ruin this planet, maybe we — or the lucky few among us — can bounce to a new one. Mars, most likely, as, among other advantages, it's easier to warm up on a cold planet than to keep your face from melting on a hellishly hot one like Venus.This is a bad (and potentially illusory) incentive. It encourages recklessness, not conservation and pursuit of peace. Energies and funding spent on space would be better spent here, preserving our home, improving human quality of life without harming our native environment, and ceasing to blow each other up. One planet is quite enough, and quite enough trouble, too.Off-planet relocation is still hypothetical, of course, but off-planet travel is not. That includes space tourism, which is not yet commercially available outside Russia (where it has been suspended for several years) but likely will be within a decade, albeit only for the immensely wealthy.Space tourism is often knocked for its elitism, but I would reject it at any price, because space is simply not a good place to go. It has no history, culture, museums, or restaurants. The celestial nihility is immensely boring and perpetually unpleasant. The scale is all wrong for us. Your accommodations, at least in our lifetimes, would be something like a glorified camper trailer, and your food would at best rise to the level of a TV dinner. If you journeyed as far as another planet, you'd sacrifice years of your life and all the human goods they should have held to glance at empty vistas from a plastic bubble. Madness seems probable. Visiting space would be the most miserable road trip ever devised, except when the vehicle breaks down, you die.I suppose I do not begrudge others the opportunity to thus squander their vacation time and resources (memento mori, but there's no accounting for taste). Private space exploration and tourism are more tolerable than that conducted by the government at taxpayers' expense. But that this tourism is the work of people like Elon Musk, a man so divorced from the mundane and rightful pleasures of human existence he wishes to cease eating, should tell us something about the nature of the endeavor. Exiting Earth's orbit to hurtle through frigid oblivion is not a worthwhile human activity.Leave Venus to its maybe-microbes and come have lunch.More stories from theweek.com How a productivity phenomenon explains the unraveling of America How the Trump-Russia story was buried The conservatives who want to undo the Enlightenment
The nation's second-largest county has recorded more homicides this year than in all of 2019, the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office said.
Given the gigantic stakes, Joe Biden is running a fairly low-key campaign for the presidency. His events are relatively infrequent and very small — part of a strategy to emphasize the danger of the coronavirus pandemic. In several key states, like Michigan, the campaign has very little presence on the ground at all, and is not doing any in-person canvassing. It is raising a ton of money and spending hugely on ads, but the ads are also rather anodyne, most promising vaguely to restore a modicum of decency and professionalism to the White House.In other words, Biden is largely following the strategy of his primary election, in which he coasted to victory on the strength of his reputation and the anxious fears of the electorate. As much as it is distasteful for leftists like me, who strongly opposed him and his passive style in the primary, to admit, it seems so far that the strategy is working.Biden has had a comfortable lead in every national poll for months, and he is leading in all the swing states he would need to win, plus some others for a margin of error. The race seems all but frozen in ice — neither the party conventions, nor Trump's regular outbursts of bug-eyed madness, nor the recent media focus on street violence in places like Kenosha and Portland, have appreciably moved the race. The FiveThirtyEight polling average had Biden up by eight points at the end of July, and today he is up by seven. It seems almost all people have basically decided who they are going to vote for, and nothing could change their mind.Now, Trump absolutely could still win. Virtually any incumbent has a chance, many swing states are quite close, and Trump is telegraphing a strategy of rampant cheating and vote suppression that can't be measured in advance. Future events might move public opinion in a way past ones have not. But conversely, the objective condition of the country is worse than it has been since 1932, and it is not out of the question that Biden could win a historic blowout.Importantly, as Jim Newell points out at Slate, much of Biden's polling strength is based on an unusual group: seniors. Trump won people over 65 by about 9 points in 2016, and Democrats have been losing this demographic for many years, but Biden has made astounding inroads. A poll from last month had him leading 65+ Americans by 17 points. "That would represent a shift of 26 points among the oldest measured demographic from 2016," Newell writes (though more recent polls have Trump doing better). As he argues, much of this simply must be about COVID-19, which has hit older people very, very hard. Trump's catastrophic bungling of the pandemic has killed at least 200,000 people, most of them elderly, while many conservative propagandists are scoffing that they would have died anyway in a desperate bid to shift blame from Trump. Naturally that has dented his popularity, and redounded to Biden's benefit.Something Newell doesn't mention is the role of gender. Some of the seniors Newell spoke to have suspiciously thin reasons they didn't vote for Clinton — one mentioned Benghazi, while another (a woman) said simply, "I don't have a reason, I don't know … I just didn't like her." It surely must be that some (not all, mind you) of the astoundingly vitriolic hatred of Clinton on the right comes from simple sexist stereotyping, as exploited by conservative media.Incidentally, it is rather peculiar that many liberals have convinced themselves that Trump won purely because of a racist backlash to the first black president instead of sexism, when Barack Obama won re-election and Clinton lost as the first woman candidate. Though it is definitely true that many, many people were driven around the bend by Obama, I think it is fair to conclude Clinton also suffered a nontrivial penalty from her gender.In any case, insofar as those things are problems for voters, Biden is a straight white man, like every previous president but one. That may give him a point or two in the polls — at least relative to someone who is like him except a different identity. As Newell rightly argues, different politicians have different strengths, and can thus assemble different winning coalitions. Obama, for instance, probably lost some older people due to racism, but more than made up for it by activating younger people and minorities.So here we have a possible glimmering of a successful Biden coalition: People under 45, minorities (though fewer of those groups than Obama got), people with college degrees, and seniors. In political terms at least, Biden has been extraordinarily lucky this cycle — these groups have more or less fallen into his lap without him having to campaign at all, and circumstances have made a traditional campaign less important than any election in decades. The election is clearly going to turn on perceptions of Trump's handling of the pandemic and economic crash, and even right-wing media can only do so much to spin that disaster.But if and when Biden takes office, he won't be able to rely on luck nearly so much. That coalition is so broad that he will not be able to help betraying some of them — either the younger lefties who want serious reform, or the elderly Trump-phobes who simply want things to go back to how they were in 2016 without any more disruptive change. Coasting to victory is one thing, but presidents have to act.More stories from theweek.com How a productivity phenomenon explains the unraveling of America How the Trump-Russia story was buried The conservatives who want to undo the Enlightenment
Netflix's The Devil All the Time, out this week, was supposed to be the ensemble film of the year. Spider-Man du jour Tom Holland takes a dramatic turn as the central character Alvin, while Bill Skarsgård, Riley Keough, Jason Clarke, Sebastian Stan, Haley Bennett, Eliza Scanlen, and Mia Wasikowska also appear in this dark and disturbing adaptation of author Donald Ray Pollock's postwar Gothic of the same name.I wish I could tell you more about their performances, but by the end of the film, the only thing I could think about was Robert Pattinson.It's admittedly baffling that the former Harry Potter and Twilight star somewhere along the line morphed into one of the greatest living actors, but it's even more baffling still that he keeps somehow getting cast in secondary roles where he then effortlessly snatches the movie away from the sorry souls who'd signed up thinking they were going to get to be the "leads." How has no one learned better yet? You don't want to be in a movie with this guy; he's only going to steal the show.The Devil All the Time is only the latest example. In it, Pattinson plays a small town West Virginian preacher, Reverend Preston Teagardin, who doesn't show up until 55 minutes into the film's 138-minute runtime (Pattinson picked out the role personally). While this is a movie populated by serial killers, delusional preachers, corrupt cops, thugs, and henchmen, Pattinson still makes the most chilling first impression of all when he dips two fingers into the juices of Alvin's grandmother's welcome offering of chicken livers and licks them clean. Reverend Teagardin later takes interest in Alvin's adopted teenage sister Lenora (Scanlen), and, when the inevitable consequences result, he delivers a sermon that includes a drawn-out howl of "deeee-LUUUU-sions" that made me jump in my seat. (Pattinson, a Brit, loves accent work, and really invests in his nasally southern drawl, which he reportedly kept a secret until his first day of shooting). Later, when Reverend Teagardin's fortunes reverse and he has to grovel for his life before Alvin, Pattinson's embodiment of pathetic desperation makes the scene one of my favorites of the year. His final appearance in the movie is around the 102nd minute mark, still leaving nearly 40 minutes of the film to unspool after he's left.> @NetflixFilm Since when did Robert Pattinson randomly shouting “DELUSIONS!!!” become the greatest two seconds of acting ever?!?!?!? pic.twitter.com/pgInaGDDAW> > — Malcolm Hollis (he/him) (@malcolm_hollis) September 6, 2020Pattinson's pedophile preacher in some ways most closely resembles his French dauphin, Louis, in the 2019 Shakespeare adaptation The King, although not because there are any overt similarities between the characters. (For all the variance between Pattinson's films, the majority of his better roles still tend to be mysterious and threatening characters, a typecasting he's not quite managed to shake from his vampire days — though it's also part of what makes his upcoming turn as Batman exciting, too). As with his character in Devil, Pattinson's dauphin is intended as a minor role in the script, which is otherwise supposed to belong to Timothée Chalamet, who nevertheless can't brood his way to besting his co-star. Of course, it's not really a competition, but there is a reason why it was Pattinson's devastating line delivery that everyone ultimately obsessed over. As he told The New York Times when asked what possibly could have informed his bonkers performance, Pattinson said: "I want[ed] to play a princess, too."> Currently seeking applicants for a support group I’m starting. Only those whose necks have been stepped on by Robert Pattinson’s sublime accent in TheKing need apply pic.twitter.com/T87QFjkNgo> > — Netflix ANZ (@NetflixANZ) November 4, 2019Part of why Pattinson's performances in The Devil All the Time and The King rise above his hapless costars' is because it seems as if he frequently operates on a totally different page than the rest of the cast and crew. In the moody and atmospheric The Lighthouse, where he plays more of a true co-lead, for example, Pattinson claimed that he "didn't really think it was a horror film, because I thought it was so funny." Some believed he was trolling with his over-the-top French accent in The King. Mashable's Angie Han, in sharing her pan of The Devil All the Time, suggested that Pattinson was actually doing a sort of meta-performance with his campy, whining reverend, claiming he was the only one on set who seemed to recognize how comedic the movie actually was. Though I felt more generously toward The Devil All the Time than she did, I'm convinced by her argument; Pattinson stands out because his performances are often cleverer than the movies he's in. When that's the case, his more earnest costars don't stand a chance.But Pattinson doesn't just shine in mediocre movies. Take 2017's The Lost City of Z, a glittering treasure of a film, in which Pattinson is again the accidental crown jewel despite playing the mere aide-de-camp to the film's explorer, Percy Fawcett, who is played by Charlie Hunnam. It's not even that Hunnam is shabby in the lead role; he isn't at all. Pattinson just "quietly underplays his role from start to finish" while "[serving] the story, making it seem more real and alive, and providing a dose of authentic humanity in the process," The A.V. Club wrote for its "Watch This" column earlier this month. In 2016, Pattinson also had a "small but deceptively important role" in Childhood of a Leader, where despite his few scenes, he leaves an unforgettable and haunting mark. Sometimes, it seems, Pattinson is just that good.All this is to say, if you are ever offered a role in a movie alongside Pattinson, run. I don't care how much money you're offered, or if you're literally playing Didi and he's been cast as Godot. No role is too small for Pattinson to not steal the entire movie away from everyone else who's in it — lucky for those of us watching from the safety of our couch.More stories from theweek.com How a productivity phenomenon explains the unraveling of America How the Trump-Russia story was buried The conservatives who want to undo the Enlightenment