The Week (305)

Fox News host Jesse Watters announces a surprise vacation, after Ivanka Trump flap

Sometimes a last-minute vacation is just a vacation. And sometimes, it's a little more permanent, as Fox News star Bill O'Reilly illustrated earlier this month. O'Reilly, facing an exodus of advertisers after it was revealed he and Fox News had settled five claims of sexual and verbal harassment for ...

United will now pay passengers who give up seats on overbooked flights up to $10,000

Following the furor over a passenger being dragged off of an overbooked flight earlier this month, United Airlines announced Thursday it is implementing 10 changes the company says will "better serve our customers and empower our employees." The airline will now offer passengers on overbooked planes ...

Jake Tapper runs down how a Trump lie became a fake fact, and he spreads the blame pretty widely

CNN's Jake Tapper said Wednesday night that he's disheartened by a new poll. He traced the objectionable results back to President Trump's tweets in February accusing former President Barack Obama of tapping his phones in Trump Tower, then played clips of House Speaker Paul Ryan and FBI Director ...

Firefighters make a 97-year-old retired teacher's dream come true

For his 97th birthday, Bill Grun lived out his childhood dream of becoming a firefighter. The Doylestown, Pennsylvania, resident spent 70 rewarding years as a teacher, but always admired firefighters. "I'll say one thing about firemen — they are really gutsy," he told Fox 29. "We get choked up ...

Amid unrest, Venezuela says it will withdraw from the Organization of American States

The Venezuelan government is accusing the Organization of American States of meddling in the country's affairs, and said it plans on leaving the Washington-based group as soon as possible. The announcement came after the OAS voted to hold a meeting with foreign ministers to talk about the economic ...

Seth Meyers, examining Trump's tax plans and serial flip-flops, discovers a new law of physics

Coming up on 100 days in office and "desperate for positive accomplishments to celebrate," President Trump is bragging about signing 30 executive orders, Seth Meyers said on Wednesday's Late Night, unimpressed. This "is ridiculous," he said. "Claiming you've been a good president just because you ...

Family of a man killed by a death row inmate buys the inmate's daughter a plane ticket for a final visit

The family of a Missouri man killed by an Arkansas inmate scheduled to be executed on Thursday sent the inmate's daughter a plane ticket so she could see him for the first time in 17 years. In 1999, Kenneth Williams, now 38, escaped from prison and was being chased in a stolen car by police when he ...

As ISIS loses ground, more and more foreign fighters are surrendering

Foreign fighters are leaving the Islamic State in droves, with many surrendering to or being caught by Turkish border police over the last few weeks, The Guardian reports. People who sympathized with the terrorist group are also fleeing, as ISIS loses ground in its stronghold of Raqqa, Syria. Last ...

President Trump says he's 'absolutely' considered breaking up the 9th Circuit Court

In an interview with the Washington Examiner on Wednesday, President Trump revealed that he's "absolutely" thought about breaking up the U.S. 9th Circuit Court if Appeals. That's the same court that was singled out in a White House statement Tuesday slamming U.S. District Judge William Orrick for ...

White House: Trump agrees with Trudeau, Peña Nieto not to terminate NAFTA

After speaking with the leaders of Mexico and Canada, President Trump "agreed not to terminate NAFTA at this time," the White House announced Wednesday night. The North American Free Trade Agreement between the U.S., Mexico, and Canada was implemented in 1994, and while on the campaign trail, Trump ...

Family of man killed by death row inmate buys his daughter a plane ticket to visit a final time

The family of a Missouri man killed by an Arkansas inmate scheduled to be executed on Thursday sent his daughter a plane ticket so she could see him for the first time in 17 years. In 1999, Kenneth Williams, now 38, escaped from prison, and was being chased in a stolen car by police when he rammed ...

25 years later, witnesses remember the 1992 L.A. riots

As the 25th anniversary of the L.A. riots approaches, witnesses who watched as stores went up in flames and angry cries filled the streets are remembering what unfolded on April 29, 1992. The riots began after four white police officers were acquitted of assault after being videotaped kicking and ...

As ISIS loses ground, more and more foreign fighters are surrendering

Foreign fighters are leaving the Islamic State in droves, with many surrendering to or being caught by Turkish border police over the last few weeks, The Guardian reports. People who sympathized with the terror group are also fleeing, as ISIS loses ground in its stronghold of Raqqa, Syria. Last ...

At the White House, national security advisers brief senators on North Korea

On Wednesday, senators were briefed at the White House by top national security advisers on the situation in North Korea, but several said they left the meeting without hearing any solid details on how the U.S. will deal with the country as it remains intent on building a nuclear arsenal. Senate ...

President Trump says he's 'absolutely' considered breaking up the 9th Circuit Court

In an interview with the Washington Examiner on Wednesday, President Trump revealed he's "absolutely" thought about breaking up the 9th Circuit Court. That's the same court that was singled out in a White House statement Tuesday after U.S. District Judge William Orrick ruled to temporarily block ...

President Trump's tax plan could cost $5.5 trillion

President Trump's proposal to slash taxes for businesses and families could cost the nation $5.5 trillion, the bipartisan Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget revealed Wednesday. Trump's tax proposal, which he unveiled Wednesday, includes plans to cut the corporate tax rate from 35 percent ...

Humans may have arrived in North America 115,000 years earlier than researchers thought

Researchers may have been off by nearly 115,000 years when they estimated that humans arrived in North America about 15,000 years ago. The potential miscalculation was uncovered by a collection of mastodon bones, which were discovered during construction work on a California freeway in 1992. After ...

Serena Williams' big pregnancy reveal on Snapchat was a total accident

It seems tennis star Serena Williams' accuracy is better on the court than on Snapchat. A week after surprising the world with the news that she's pregnant, Williams admitted during an interview Tuesday at the 2017 Ted Talks Conference that she didn't actually mean to send out that selfie of her ...

Ann Coulter announces she won't speak at Berkeley after all

After a long back-and-forth with the University of California, Berkeley, over her slated April 27 speech, conservative commentator Ann Coulter gave her final answer on Wednesday, a day before she was originally scheduled to speak. "There will be no speech," Coulter wrote in an email to Reuters. The ...

Trump unveils tax plan with cuts for businesses and families

President Trump unveiled a broad tax proposal Wednesday, including a sharp cut in the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 15 percent. For individuals, the administration proposed reducing the seven tax brackets to three, at 10, 25, and 35 percent. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the ...

Blockbuster is still going strong in Alaska

In virtually every state across the U.S., Blockbuster Video has become a relic of the past, from a time way back when it was necessary to physically go to a store to rent a movie rather than cueing one up with the click of the button. Alaska is the exception. The Washington Post reported Wednesday ...

House Freedom Caucus signs on to new GOP health-care bill

The House Freedom Caucus announced Wednesday that it is onboard with the latest version of the GOP's American Health Care Act. The convincing factor for the far-right Republican faction, which opposed President Trump's first pass at repealing and replacing ObamaCare, was a new amendment negotiated ...

Amazon is releasing a camera that will tell you if your outfit is ugly

Your best friend might tell you that your expensive, faux-mud-splattered jeans are "cute," but when it's the hard truth you want, you need to turn to artificial intelligence. Amazon announced Wednesday that will be releasing the "Echo Look," a camera that will rate your outfits based on data from ...

After swearing he was 'not going to Wall Street' to make a lot of money, Obama is reportedly going to make a lot of money off a speech for Wall Street

Former President Barack Obama is reportedly going to make a nice $400,000 this year off a speech at an annual health-care conference hosted by the Wall Street investment bank Cantor Fitzgerald. The speech is one of many that Obama will make as he embarks on a paid-speech circuit. He's lined up a ...

Amazon is releasing a camera that will tell you if your outfit is ugly

Your best friend might tell you that your expensive, faux-mud-splattered jeans are "cute," but when it's the hard truth you want, you need to turn to artificial intelligence. Amazon announced Wednesday that is will be releasing the "Echo Look," a camera that will rate your outfits based on data from ...

White House officials say an order to withdraw from NAFTA is in its final stages

The White House is reportedly in the late stages of finalizing an order that would withdraw the United States from the North American Free Trade Agreement, also known as NAFTA, Politico reports. President Trump vowed to renegotiate the 1994 trade deal on the campaign trail, arguing that NAFTA is ...

Silence of the Lambs director Jonathan Demme dies at 73

The Oscar-winning director of The Silence of the Lambs, Jonathan Demme, died Wednesday at the age of 73 due to complications from cancer, Indiewire reports. Demme also directed the AIDS crisis film Philadelphia, starring Tom Hanks, and the Talking Heads concert documentary Stop Making Sense. Demme's ...

After swearing he was 'not going to Wall Street' to make a lot of money, Obama is reportedly going to make a lot of money off a speech for Wall Street

Former President Barack Obama is reportedly going to make a nice $400,000 this year off a speech at an annual health care conference hosted by the Wall Street investment bank Cantor Fitzgerald. The speech is one of many that Obama will make as he embarks on a paid-speech circuit. He's lined up a ...

Fox News' Jesse Watters insists he wasn't making 'a joke about anything else' when he complimented Ivanka Trump's microphone handling

Fox News reporter Jesse Watters swore Wednesday that he wasn't making any sort of sexual innuendo when he praised Ivanka Trump for how she handled her microphone during a recent appearance in Berlin. Watters' clarification was in response to a remark he made on Tuesday's episode of The Five that ...

United Airlines' latest fiasco involves a dead giant bunny

After a tough month on the public relations front, United Airlines is now dealing with the alleged death of a giant rabbit in the cargo hold of one of its trans-Atlantic flights. The rabbit in question is a massive 3-foot-long bunny named Simon, who was the son of the world's largest rabbit and ...

ESPN to lay off 100 employees including on-air talent, reporters

ESPN is cutting around 100 staffers this week, including writers and on-air reporters, anchors, and analysts, Bloomberg reports. In a statement about their "content evolution strategy," the company said: "In short, given how fans' habits are changing, our focus continues to be providing ...

A majority of Republicans think Obama spied on Trump and a majority of Democrats think Trump conspired with Russia

A new ABC News/Washington Post poll released Wednesday revealed just how radically different Democrats' and Republicans' perceptions of Russia's election meddling are. On the whole, 56 percent of Americans believe Russia tried to influence the 2016 U.S. presidential election, an allegation that ...

Rex Tillerson ghosted on his meeting with the African Union chief

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson infuriated the leader of the 55-nation African Union after backing out of their scheduled meeting at the last minute, Foreign Policy reports. Experts on African diplomacy say the snub could result in "lasting consequences and potentially burn bridges that took ...

Lawmakers cling to their ObamaCare benefits even as they propose repealing them for everyone else

The fine print of a new Republican health-care amendment apparently indicates that members of Congress want to keep Affordable Care Act provisions for themselves while repealing them for the rest of the country, Vox reports. Introduced Tuesday night, the amendment would allow states to waive the ...

The daily business briefing: April 26, 2017

1. World stocks on Wednesday were mixed, with some markets hitting record highs after news of President Trump's promised corporate tax cut lifted U.S. shares on Tuesday. Optimism over the first round in France's presidential election, in which pro-European Union centrist Emmanuel Macron led anti-EU ...

Trump installed a red button on his desk — to push when he wants a Coke

There is actually a red button on the president's Oval Office desk, but contrary to any Cold War movie you've ever seen, it does not immediately launch America's arsenal of nukes. In fact, President Trump presses it all the time — whenever he wants a Coke. A man accustomed to wealth and its ...

10 things you need to know today: April 26, 2017

1. Leaders of the House Oversight Committee said Tuesday that President Trump's first national security adviser, Michael Flynn, might have broken the law by failing to fully disclose his past business dealings with Russia during the process of getting the security clearance he needed to work in ...

White House issues blistering response to judge's block of Trump's sanctuary city order

The White House released a blistering statement Tuesday in response to a federal judge's decision to temporarily block President Trump's executive order that threatens to cut off government funding for sanctuary cities. "Today, the rule of law suffered another blow, as an unelected judge ...

Trump may not attend Wednesday's odd White House briefing for senators on Korea, as tensions ratchet up

Amid U.S.-North Korean tensions so high that defense analysts warn one misstep could lead to war, all 100 senators are meeting at the White House Wednesday afternoon for a special, unusual briefing on North Korea from Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, intelligence chief Dan Coats, Defense Secretary ...

Chinese factory that makes Ivanka Trump clothes cited for low wages, poor conditions

A day before Ivanka Trump flew to Berlin to talk about empowering women economically, the Fair Labor Association apparel industry monitoring group released an audit of a Chinese clothing factory used by the exclusive maker of Trump's clothing line. The report found that the factory's 80 workers were ...

Trump's first 100 days were not a failure. Far from it.

Wherever you fall on the spectrum of affinity for President Trump, you ought to agree that in his first 100 days, he has proven his harshest critics almost ludicrously wrong. In a culture where only panic and outrage can reliably break through the white noise of online blather and round-the-clock ...

Is there a place for pro-life people in the Democratic coalition?

Can you be a Democrat and also hold pro-life views? That old debate has broken out once again, as Democrats mobilize to win special elections taking place around the country. It all started with the mayoral election in Omaha, where moderately pro-life Democrat Heath Mello was endorsed by Bernie ...

Trump's big, stupid tax plan

Barreling towards his 100-day mark with little to show for it, President Trump is reportedly desperate to show some momentum. So today, the president is a releasing a new bullet-point proposal on tax reform. Its centerpiece is a giant cut to the corporate tax rate, dropping it from 35 percent to 15 ...

I love you, C-SPAN

Comparing modern American society to George Orwell's dystopian masterpiece 1984 is all the rage. We live in a fact-less world, it seems, and try as the truth might, it struggles to cut through a cloud of government-sanctioned confusion. We are all Winston Smith, whether we're battling side-by-side ...

How Theresa May can win her game of chicken with the EU

Brexit is one of the most complicated affairs in policy. Dozens of trade treaties have to be renegotiated. Tens of thousands of pages of European law have to be replaced. And, of course, Britain wants to work out a custom deal with the European Union whereby, in essence, the island gets all the ...

Donald Trump's political science experiment

An old political science professor of mine used to joke that the very term "political science" was an exercise in self-importance. It's not really a "science," even if professionals in the field secretly wish they could wear white laboratory coats and perform proper research in a controlled ...

America's endless cycle of reactionary politics

Here's a thought experiment. Imagine that Hillary Clinton had won the 2016 election. Across the country we'd probably be seeing a renewed spirit of activism on the right — mass protests, the creation of new grassroots organizations, local Republican Party chapters overrun with volunteers, ordinary ...

Why Republicans should save ObamaCare

The spectacle is astounding: With a Republican in the White House and the GOP firmly in control of the House and Senate, Congress still can't pass major legislation. The push to repeal and replace ObamaCare failed before even coming to the House floor. Now, with Congress nowhere close to passing a ...

The manicured illusion of China's streaming starlets

In the past three years, China's live-streamed entertainment has gone from a blip to a booming billion-dollar industry. The entertainment can take different forms — like interactive gaming or online marketplaces with real-time salespeople — but at the heart of this internet phenomenon are young ...

This tiny device knows when you're looking at it

"Qualcomm wants your gadgets to look out for you," said Stacey Higginbotham at TechnologyReview​.com. The mobile chipmaker is working on a tiny, low-power module that could add computer vision technology to everyday devices, from toys to home appliances. The technology, called Glance, "isn't quite ...