The Week (317)

Horrifying report describes extreme torture methods at prisons where American troops interrogate suspected militants

Senior U.S. defense officials admitted that American troops have been involved in the interrogation of suspected al Qaeda militants in Yemen where horrific, extreme torture is reported to take place in more than a dozen secret prisons, The Associated Press reports. The American officials "denied any ...

Does Republicans' 'Better Care' act make health care better? This GOP senator says 'it depends on how you define better.'

In an interview Friday on Fox & Friends, Sen. Bill Cassidy refused to say whether Senate Republicans' new health-care bill, called the Better Care Reconciliation Act, actually makes the nation's health-care system better. Fox & Friends host Steve Doocy noted that the Senate bill, which was unveiled ...

Trump made Iowans really mad by ranting about wind energy

President Trump is a little bit obsessed with the evils of wind energy, a topic that did not go over so well at his rally in Iowa earlier this week. "I don't want to just hope the wind blows to light up your house and your factory as the birds fall to the ground," Trump told the crowd. His comment ...

The Trump administration is pulling an anti-extremism grant from a group that combats white supremacy

The Department of Homeland Security is jump-starting a $10 million Obama-era grant program aimed at "countering violent extremism," but it is withdrawing funding from a group that combats white supremacists, Politico Playbook reports. When former DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson announced the program ...

Trump has a 'venting session' about Russia every morning

Every morning, before he watches the morning news shows, President Trump talks to a member of his outside legal team on the phone about the latest Russia headlines. The Washington Post reported that the 6:30 a.m. phone calls are "part strategy consultation and part presidential venting session," ...

5 explosive details from The Washington Post's damning report on the Russia hacking

On Friday, The Washington Post published an extraordinary, comprehensive report of the Obama administration's actions in the face of mounting evidence that Russia severely affected the U.S. presidential election last year. "It is the hardest thing about my entire time in government to defend," one ...

The daily business briefing: June 23, 2017

1. The state-owned Qatar Airways is making an unsolicited attempt to buy a 10 percent stake in American Airlines, the U.S. carrier said in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Qatar Airways CEO Akbar al-Baker reportedly approached his counterpart at American Airlines about Qatar's ...

The coming crisis

This is the editor's letter in the current issue of The Week magazine. The most telling aspect of a crazed partisan's 50-round assault on Republican lawmakers last week was that it was not all that surprising. Horrifying, yes. Shocking, no. Mass shootings have become as commonplace in this country ...

Trump blasts Mueller over 'bothersome' friendship with Comey

On Friday, Fox & Friends aired the first televised, in-person interview President Trump has given in six weeks. In it, Trump praised progress on health care, claiming that "I've done in five months what other people haven't done in years," and blamed the Obama administration's "unmasking and ...

10 things you need to know today: June 23, 2017

1. Senate Republicans on Thursday released their long-awaited proposal to replace ObamaCare. The 142-page bill includes deep cuts to Medicaid and the elimination of the Affordable Care Act's individual mandate to acquire health insurance. The Republicans' "Better Care Reconciliation Act" also calls ...

America's police departments need to stand trial

I've been thinking about Robocop lately. In that landmark 1987 dystopian satire by Paul Verhoeven, the titular character is actually the scrappy B-team's alternative to the main crime-fighting product being developed by the corporation: a terrifying fully-automated peacekeeping machine with obvious ...

Wit and wisdom from Kanye West, Judy Garland, and more

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Centrist Democrats are now the great defenders of social justice? Please.

The left half of the American political spectrum is in the middle of a big fight between the left and the center-left, which will surely get more intense as the midterms approach. Much of the battle, writes Franklin Foer in a very long piece at The Atlantic, will be between economic issues and ...

Obama and Trump both promised peace. They delivered war.

There's an old political joke that goes like this: "They told me that if I voted for Goldwater, we'd be at war in Vietnam within a year. Well sure enough, I voted for Goldwater and now a year later we're at war in Vietnam!" Everything old is new again. Try this one: "They told me that if I voted for ...

The Senate health bill is a scathing indictment of the Republican Party

Too often, we think of politics as a game, losing ourselves in the personalities and the strategies and the winning and losing. But the reason it matters in the first place is that all of our lives are affected by politics, by who holds power and what decisions they make. And in those decisions, ...

This week I learned that looking at puppies can save your marriage, and more

How viewing cute animals can help rekindle marital spark Why Phoenix's airplanes can't take off in extreme heat Anemonefish dads further fathering research The thousands of Serengeti wildebeest that drown each year serve a greater purpose

7 brutally hilarious cartoons on the Democrats' disarray

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Where are all the missing leftist voters?

If there's one thing that members of the American left believe as an article of unshakable faith, it's that they constitute the country's true silent majority. You can hear a profession of this faith every time a mainstream Democrat disappoints at the ballot box: "If only socialist Bernie Sanders ...

Weekly news quiz: June 23, 2017

Think you know the news? Find out!

5-year-old and new neighbor bond over love of doing yardwork

Brian Kelly is a resourceful 5-year-old — when his father, Dan, was deployed overseas in May, he started going next door and asking his neighbor, Dean Cravens, if he would join him in doing some of the same things he used to do with his dad. The Kellys moved to their home in Belleville, Illinois, ...

Qatar given list of demands by neighboring countries to end diplomatic crisis

Acting as mediator, Kuwait has given Qatar a list of 13 different demands from Saudi Arabia and other Arab countries that it must comply with in order to restore diplomatic ties, The Associated Press reports. Earlier this month, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain, and the United Arab Emirates severed ties ...

Preet Bharara was concerned by White House phone call, memo shows

Just a few days before he was fired after refusing to resign, former U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara wrote a memo sharing his concerns about a phone call he received from the White House, BuzzFeed News reports. Using the Freedom of Information Act, BuzzFeed was able to get an email on Thursday that ...

Trevor Noah thinks Democrats could fight the GOP health-care bill — if only they weren't Democrats

The way Senate Republicans kept a tight lid on their health-care plan reminded The Daily Show's Trevor Noah of a very famous company that also likes to keep things under wraps — Apple. It almost felt like the "launching of a new iPhone," Noah said Thursday night. "No one knew, there were ...

5-year-old and new neighbor bond over love of doing yardwork

Brian Kelly is a resourceful five-year-old — when his father, Dan, was deployed overseas in May, he started going next door and asking his neighbor, Dean Cravens, if he would join him in doing some of the same things he used to do with his dad. The Kellys moved to their home in Belleville, ...

Seth Meyers shines a light on Mitch McConnell's health-care bill hypocrisy

The health-care bill drafted by Senate Republicans finally emerged from behind closed doors on Thursday, and with its cuts to Medicaid to fund tax cuts for the rich, the plan is "breathtakingly cruel," Seth Meyers said. On Thursday's Late Night, Meyers took a closer look at the bill, which Senate ...

Qatar given list of demands by neighboring countries to end diplomatic crisis

Acting as mediator, Kuwait has given Qatar a list of 13 different demands from Saudi Arabia and other Arab countries it must comply with in order to restore diplomatic ties, The Associated Press reports. Earlier this month, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain, and the United Arab Emirates severed ties with ...

Preet Bharara was concerned by White House phone call, memo shows

Just a few days before he was fired after refusing to resign, former US Attorney Preet Bharara wrote a memo sharing his concerns about a phone call he received from the White House, BuzzFeed News reports. Using the Freedom of Information Act, BuzzFeed was able to get an email on Thursday that ...

Boys protest school's dress code by donning skirts

After being told they weren't allowed to wear shorts to school, about 30 teenage boys attending ISCA Academy in Exeter, England, showed up wearing skirts instead. As part of their dress code, boys have to wear pants and girls can wear either pants or skirts, but when temperatures shot up, the boys ...

John Oliver, HBO sued by coal company, CEO over Last Week Tonight segment

An Ohio-based coal company and its CEO are suing Last Week Tonight host John Oliver, HBO, and Time Warner for defamation, claiming on his June 18 show, Oliver executed a "maliciously planned attempt to assassinate the character and reputation" of Robert Murray and Murray Energy. In a suit filed ...

2017 NBA Draft: 76ers select Markelle Fultz with No. 1 overall pick

The Philadelphia 76ers selected University of Washington guard Markelle Fultz as the first overall pick of the 2017 NBA Draft. The Sixers traded with the Boston Celtics to get the top spot. UCLA's Lonzo Ball was chosen second by the Los Angeles Lakers, while the Celtics, drafting third, picked ...

Amid criticism, Nancy Pelosi says she's 'confident' most Democrats have her back

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi isn't bothered by some members of her party criticizing her, following Jon Ossoff's loss Tuesday in Georgia's 6th Congressional district special election. His opponent, Karen Handel, ran more of an anti-Ossoff campaign than pro-Handel, and ran ads linking Ossoff to ...

Obama slams Senate health-care bill's 'fundamental meanness'

Senate Republicans unveiled their health-care proposal Thursday, the upper chamber's version of the GOP-backed American Health Care Act that passed the House early last month. The Senate bill, titled the "Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017," allows states to apply for waivers to certain ...

An unintentional loophole in a New Hampshire law would have allowed pregnant women to murder people without consequence

An awkward linguistic loophole in a Republican bill in the New Hampshire state Senate would have, in theory, allowed pregnant women to legally get away with committing murder, Slate reports. Senate Bill 66 defined fetuses past 20 weeks old as "people" for cases of murder or manslaughter, such as ...

Carrier braces for 600-person layoff just 6 months after Trump touted the company as a job policy victory

From the get-go, President Trump's so-called "Carrier deal" has not lived up to its expectations. In December, the then-president-elect promised to save 1,100 jobs at the air conditioner and furnace manufacturing plant that had been slated to go to Mexico in return for $7 million in state ...

5 mind-blowing things about the GOP's 'Better Care' act

After weeks of lock-down secrecy, Senate Republicans have finally released their version of TrumpCare. It's called the Better Care Reconciliation Act , and it's quite a sight to behold. Apparently realizing this is their one shot to kill ObamaCare and remake the whole health-care safety net, the ...

The week's good news: June 22, 2017

1. When the deputy overseeing their work detail passed out last week, six Georgia inmates rushed to save his life. They were outside doing lawn maintenance at a cemetery in hot weather — it was 76 degrees with 100 percent humidity — when he collapsed. The inmates immediately opened his shirt, ...

Conservative health-care wonk Avik Roy says the Senate health-care bill could be 'the greatest policy achievement' by a GOP Congress in his lifetime

As the Senate Republicans' ObamaCare replacement was sending ripples of alarm and anger through the Democratic ranks — and some of the GOP ones, too — conservative health-care wonk Avik Roy was reading. And reading. And reading. After finishing the 142 pages of the "Better Care" act, Roy — who ...

Elizabeth Warren rips apart Senate Republicans' health-care bill, blasting tax cuts as 'blood money'

Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren took to the floor Thursday to passionately attack the Republican Senate's ObamaCare replacement, the "Better Care" act. "Senate Republicans wrung some extra dollars out of kicking people off tax credits that help them afford health insurance," Warren said. "They ...

4 Republican senators announce they will not support the GOP health-care bill

Hours after Republican Senate leadership released a proposal for replacing ObamaCare, Sen. Rand Paul along with Sen. Mike Lee , Sen. Ted Cruz , and Sen. Ron Johnson announced they would not support their party's bill. "Currently, for a variety of reasons, we are not ready to vote for this bill, but ...

92-year-old gets high school diploma nearly 75 years after internment

A 92-year-old from Washington state has finally graduated from her old high school. Mary Matsuda Gruenewald was an honors student at Vashon Island High School in 1942 when, like some 120,000 other Japanese-Americans during World War II, she was sent to an internment camp. Matsuda Gruenewald ...

Trump's Iowa speech was extremely entertaining. It was also an admission of failure.

President Trump's speech in Iowa on Wednesday night was fantastic, in the way that an Eddie Money concert at a county fair in Kentucky is fantastic. I don't just mean that it was a great excuse for drinking beer, though it was. There were no lame surprise attempts to play the bad new stuff: He stuck ...

Trump admits he did not record his conversations with James Comey

President Trump confessed Thursday on Twitter that he does not have tapes of his conversations with former FBI Director James Comey. In May, shortly after firing Comey, Trump tweeted a threat: "James Comey better hope that there are no 'tapes' of our conversations before he starts leaking to the ...

Roughly half the births in the U.S. are financed by Medicaid. The GOP health-care plan would end that.

University of Minnesota graduate student Victoria Fiorentino pinpointed a particularly alarming line in the Senate Republicans' health-care replacement bill, which was unveiled Thursday: This is what you get with male-only decisions - No pregnant citizens allowed w/ medicaid expansion. #AHCA ...

Democratic Sen. Chris Murphy declares the Senate health bill 'even dumber' and 'more evil' than the House's

The Senate Republican health-care bill was released Thursday, revealing its steep cuts to Medicaid and slashing of essential health benefits to the American public. The bill's drafting had been shrouded in secrecy for weeks, to the point that even several Republican senators had expressed ...

9 Trump promises the GOP's 'Better Care' act breaks

Senate Republicans on Thursday released their 142-page ObamaCare replacement, optimistically titled the "Better Care Reconciliation Act," after the party's leadership faced criticism for writing the document entirely behind closed doors. While President Trump has quietly implored Republican ...

Protesters storm hallway outside Mitch McConnell's office demanding 'no cuts to Medicaid'

After Senate Republicans released the text of their health-care bill Thursday, approximately 60 protesters — including several in wheelchairs — stormed the hallway outside Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's office. The sit-in was organized by Arc, a group that "promotes and protects the ...

It only took 34 words for Senate Republicans to strip away maternity care, mental health benefits, and ambulatory services

After weeks of secrecy, Senate Republicans on Thursday unveiled the Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017, the upper chamber's answer to repealing and replacing ObamaCare. Senate GOP leadership had been working on re-drafting the American Health Care Act, the House Republican bill, since it was ...

Bernie Sanders slams the Senate health bill as 'the most harmful piece of legislation I've seen in my lifetime'

Senate Republicans finally unveiled their health-care bill Thursday, titled the "Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017." The bill had been drafted in an insular, closed-door process by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell , to the point where even many Republican senators expressed frustration ...

Republicans are trying to brand their just released health-care bill 'Better Care'

Senate Republicans released their 142-page ObamaCare replacement bill, named the "Better Care Reconciliation Act," on Thursday after the party's leadership faced criticism for secretly writing the document behind closed doors. It says right here that it's going to give us Better Care so I don't ...

Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski says she hasn't seen her party's health-care bill because she's 'not a reporter' or 'lobbyist'

The Senate's health-care bill was written in such secrecy that as of Thursday morning, even many Republicans had not yet laid their eyes on the actual text. While Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell briefed the White House staff on the bill's details Wednesday, the actual document is only set to ...