US president Donald Trump withdrew the United States from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, which limited Iranian nuclear capabilities, and then reintroduced sanctions on the country, despite ten International Atomic Energy Agency reports finding that Iran had upheld its end of the deal. “We did not talk about a plan B,” said a State Department official. Iran fired twenty rockets at Israeli forces in the Golan Heights, and Israel bombed fifty Iranian targets in Syria. Gina Haspel, Trump’s nominee for director of the Central Intelligence Agency, was questioned by the Senate Intelligence Committee about her oversight of a CIA “black site” in Thailand where prisoners were waterboarded; Arizona senator John McCain, who was imprisoned and tortured for four years in Vietnam and who Trump claimed was “not a war hero,” said Haspel’s “refusal to acknowledge torture’s immorality is disqualifying”; and an aide to Trump said a confirmation vote from McCain wasn’t necessary because the senator, who has brain cancer, “is dying anyway.”
New York State attorney general Eric Schneiderman resigned after it was reported that four women said he had beaten them, and it was revealed that one of Trump’s personal lawyers had been told five years ago about the allegations. A panel of judges determined that Maricopa County, Arizona, was liable for almost $100 million in damages related to racial profiling and other misconduct by former county sheriff Joe Arpaio, whom Trump pardoned in 2017; and John Kelly, the current White House chief of staff, said children separated from their parents by US Immigration and Customs Enforcement “will be taken care of” by being “put into foster care or whatever.” Apple said it would create a credit card, Facebook said it would create its own cryptocurrency, and Uber unveiled a prototype for air taxis. The only White House team focused solely on global health security was disbanded on the same day a new Ebola outbreak began in the Democratic Republic of Congo; a plan pushed by Trump adviser Jared Kushner to improve health care for veterans was reported to have likely caused an increase in patient deaths; Trump proposed $15 billion in cuts to already approved spending, including to the Children’s Health Insurance Program; and a new study found that birds migrate to avoid disease.
The United Kingdom announced plans to ban wet wipes, which make up 93 percent of the matter that causes blockages in sewage pipes and are a component of underground waste masses called fat bergs. Iraq captured five Islamic State leaders; North Korea released three American detainees; and a salmonella outbreak occurred in a jail in Chicago. Officials warned that Kilauea, the longest-erupting volcano in the world, could shower Hawaii with ten-ton boulders if its magma hits groundwater, which will cause steam explosions. Liquid chocolate spilled from a tanker-truck that crashed on a Polish highway, and $800,000 worth of dimes spilled from a semitrailer that tipped over on a highway in Nevada. Two scientists claimed that Pluto was still a planet, and a human foot, wearing a hiking boot, washed ashore on the western coast of Canada, the fourteenth shoe-clad foot that tides have brought to shore since 2007 but the first not in sneakers.
Sign up and get the Weekly Review delivered to your inbox. Subscribe to Harper’s Magazine today!