Weekly Review — August 16, 2016, 2:50 pm

Weekly Review

U.S. swimmer Simone Manuel becomes the first black woman to win a gold medal in the 100-meter event, a congressman in the Philippines calls for Trump to be banned from the country, and the mayor of Cannes, France, bans the burkini

A FAMOUS PLAY ILLUSTRATED - "THE LYON'S MAIL."

A FAMOUS PLAY ILLUSTRATED – “THE LYON’S MAIL.”

At the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Simone Biles became the first U.S. gymnast to win three gold medals in a single year, defeating a gymnast from Uzbekistan and a gymnast from India who each tried unsuccessfully to land a dangerous maneuver known as the “vault of death,” which Biles did not attempt. “I’m not trying to die,” she said.[1][2][3] U.S. swimmer Simone Manuel became the first black woman to win a gold medal in the 100-meter event, and U.S. swimmer Michael Phelps recorded his 13th individual Olympic victory, besting a 2,168-year record held by the runner Leonidas of Rhodes.[4][5] Two swimming pools mysteriously turned green and, according to a German diver, “smelled like a fart”; a Kenyan coach was dismissed for posing as an athlete for a urine test; and a fencing match was halted when a French fencer’s cell phone fell out of his pocket.[6][7][8][9] Four members of the U.S. swim team who were returning to the Olympic Village from a party at the France House were held up at gunpoint by men dressed as police officers, and a Belgian medalist in judo was punched in the face and robbed on Copacabana Beach.[10][11] At some venues, it was reported that only 20 percent of Brazilian volunteers showed up for work. “Volunteers,” said a spokesperson for the Games, “are one of the things we are fine-tuning.”[12] Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump told supporters in North Carolina that “maybe” there would be something “Second Amendment people” could do to stop his opponent, Hillary Clinton, and called Barack Obama the “literal” founder of the Islamic State, before later explaining he was “being sarcastic.” “But not that sarcastic,” he said.[13][14] A Filipino congressman called for banning Trump from the Philippines after the candidate referred to the country as a “terrorist nation” and called its denizens “animals,” and a Trump supporter from Virginia traveled to New York City and climbed 16 stories of Trump Tower with suction cups to demand an audience with the candidate, who was campaigning in Virginia at the time.[15][16] It was reported that Trump’s campaign manager received $12.7 million in “undisclosed cash payments” from a pro-Russian political party in 2012, and Clinton’s tax returns revealed that 96 percent of her charitable donations last year were made to the Clinton Family Foundation.[17][18] A black coating of biofilm was found growing on monuments across Washington, D.C.[19]

In Milwaukee, a police officer shot and killed an 23-year-old black man* who was fleeing a traffic stop with a gun, and rioters burned down an auto-parts shop, a beauty-products store, and a gas station.[20] The U.S. Department of Justice released a report finding that the Baltimore Police Department had engaged in racist practices that regularly infringe upon the civil rights of African Americans.[21] The report “reads more like a description of the Jim Crow South than what you would hope for a modern American city in 2016,” said one law professor.[22] U.S. officials claimed to have killed the leader of the Islamic State in Afghanistan and Pakistan with a drone strike, and U.S.-backed fighters captured the Islamic State–held Syrian city of Manbij, whose residents celebrated by trimming their beards, burning niqabs, and smoking cigarettes.[23][24] The German interior minister announced plans to tighten the country’s security laws through increased surveillance, expedited deportation for foreign criminals, and provisions to strip German dual nationals of their citizenship if found guilty of terrorism; and the mayor of Cannes, France, banned the full-body swimsuit known as the burkini.[25][26] A Chinese tourist in Duelmen, Germany, who was attempting to report a stolen wallet accidentally applied for asylum and was housed in a migrant hostel for almost two weeks. “He said Europe was not what he had expected,” recalled a Red Cross official.[27]

A 10-year-old boy in Kansas was decapitated on the world’s tallest waterslide, three girls in Tennessee were hospitalized when they fell more than 30 feet from a Ferris wheel whose rivets had disintegrated, and a train in Iowa derailed and crashed into a trackside bar named Derailed.[28][29][30] An F-22 fighter jet was grounded after becoming covered in 20,000 bees, and a protester in India ended her 16-year hunger strike by licking honey. “I just want a normal life,” she said.[31][32][33] In Italy, a legislator called for parents who feed their children vegan diets to be sentenced to up to six years in prison, and in Sweden, a woman attempted to vindicate her theft of six pairs of underwear by claiming she had severe diarrhea.[34][35] A British crime syndicate was suspected of poisoning a tennis player with rat urine at Wimbledon.[36] The DEA declined to remove marijuana from the Schedule I list of drugs, and workers in Pyongyang were reportedly forced by the government to take a form of crystal meth in order to expedite the completion of a large-scale construction project.[37][38] Miners unearthed the mummified remains of an unidentified creature in Siberia, and archaeologists discovered a number of magic spells in a 2000-year-old burial ground in Serbia.[39][40] Scottish police asked the Catholic Church for help addressing a complaint about supernatural activity, including accounts of flickering lights, clothing moving of its own accord, and a pet Chihuahua mysteriously sitting atop a 7-foot hedge. “How do you handle,” asked one police spokesperson, “a poltergeist?”[41]

Read the Weekly Review in the Harper’s Magazine app, or sign up to have it delivered to your inbox.

Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly gave the age of the shooting victim in Milwaukee as 18. He was 23. We regret the error.

Share
Single Page

More from Matthew Sherrill:

Weekly Review March 28, 2017, 5:30 pm

Weekly Review

Paul Ryan fails to repeal the Affordable Care Act, Donald Trump goes golfing for the thirteenth time as president of the United States, and rivers in India and New Zealand are granted full human rights

Weekly Review February 7, 2017, 4:22 pm

Weekly Review

The White House puts Iran “on notice,” Trump threatens to send U.S. troops into Mexico, and Punxsutawney Phil predicts six more weeks of winter

Index January 20, 2017, 2:09 pm

Cabinet of Curiosities

A numerical investigation of Donald Trump’s appointees

Get access to 168 years of
Harper’s for only $45.99

United States Canada

CATEGORIES

THE CURRENT ISSUE

November 2018

Rebirth of a Nation

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

The Tragedy of Ted Cruz

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

view Table Content

FEATURED ON HARPERS.ORG

Article
Rebirth of a Nation·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Donald Trump’s presidency signals a profound but inchoate realignment of American politics. On the one hand, his administration may represent the consolidation of minority control by a Republican-dominated Senate under the leadership of a president who came to office after losing the popular vote by almost 3 million ballots. Such an imbalance of power could lead to a second civil war—indeed, the nation’s first and only great fraternal conflagration was sparked off in part for precisely this reason. On the other hand, Trump’s reign may be merely an interregnum, in which the old white power structure of the Republican Party is dying and a new oppositional coalition struggles to be born.

Illustration by Taylor Callery (detail)
Article
Blood Money·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Over the past three years, the city of South Tucson, Arizona, a largely Latino enclave nestled inside metropolitan Tucson, came close to abolishing its fire and police departments. It did sell off the library and cut back fire-truck crews from four to three people—whereupon two thirds of the fire department quit—and slashed the police force to just sixteen employees. “We’re a small city, just one square mile, surrounded by a larger city,” the finance director, Lourdes Aguirre, explained to me. “We have small-town dollars and big-city problems.”

Illustration by John Ritter (detail)
Article
The Tragedy of Ted Cruz·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

When I saw Ted Cruz speak, in early August, it was at Underwood’s Cafeteria in Brownwood. He was on a weeklong swing through rural central Texas, hitting small towns and military bases that ensured him friendly, if not always entirely enthusiastic, crowds. In Brownwood, some in the audience of two hundred were still nibbling on peach cobbler as Cruz began with an anecdote about his win in a charity basketball game against ABC’s late-night host Jimmy Kimmel. They rewarded him with smug chuckles when he pointed out that “Hollywood celebrities” would be hurting over the defeat “for the next fifty years.” His pitch for votes was still an off-the-rack Tea Party platform, complete with warnings about the menace of creeping progressivism, delivered at a slightly mechanical pace but with lots of punch. The woman next to me remarked, “This is the fire in the gut! Like he had the first time!” referring to Cruz’s successful long-shot run in the 2011 Texas Republican Senate primary. And it’s true—the speech was exactly like one Cruz would have delivered in 2011, right down to one specific detail: he never mentioned Donald Trump by name.

Cruz recited almost verbatim the same things Trump lists as the administration’s accomplishments: the new tax legislation, reduced African-American unemployment, repeal of the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate, and Neil Gorsuch’s appointment to the Supreme Court. But, in a mirror image of those in the #Resistance who refuse to ennoble Trump with the title “president,” Cruz only called him that.

Photograph of Ted Cruz © Ben Helton (detail)
Article
Wrong Object·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

H

e is a nondescript man.

I’d never used that adjective about a client. Not until this one. My seventeenth. He’d requested an evening time and came Tuesdays at six-thirty. For months he didn’t tell me what he did.

The first session I said what I often said to begin: How can I help you?

I still think of what I do as a helping profession. And I liked the way the phrase echoed down my years; in my first job I’d been a salesgirl at a department store counter.

I want to work on my marriage, he said. I’m the problem.

His complaint was familiar. But I preferred a self-critical patient to a blamer.

It’s me, he said. My wife is a thoroughly good person.

Yawn, I thought, but said, Tell me more.

I don’t feel what I should for her.

What do you feel?

Photograph © Joseph S. Giacalone (detail)

Portion of those caught in possession of drugs by the U.S. Border Patrol who are U.S. citizens:

3/4

A third of heart attacks worldwide were blamed on unhealthy Western eating habits.

Nikki Haley resigns; Jamal Khashoggi murdered; Kanye visits the White House

Subscribe to the Weekly Review newsletter. Don’t worry, we won’t sell your email address!

HARPER’S FINEST

Happiness Is a Worn Gun

By

Illustration by Stan Fellows

Illustration by Stan Fellows

“Nowadays, most states let just about anybody who wants a concealed-handgun permit have one; in seventeen states, you don’t even have to be a resident. Nobody knows exactly how many Americans carry guns, because not all states release their numbers, and even if they did, not all permit holders carry all the time. But it’s safe to assume that as many as 6 million Americans are walking around with firearms under their clothes.”

Subscribe Today