Weekly Review — October 11, 2016, 6:02 pm

Weekly Review

Hurricane Matthew kills more than 1,000 people in Haiti, Donald Trump attempts to apologize for bragging that he grabs women by their genitals, and scientists conclude humans will never live past 125.

HarpersMagazine-1853-12-bootsA video emerged in which Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump bragged about being able to “grab them by the pussy,” referring to women, without consequence because he is a celebrity.[1] “I’ve never said I am a perfect person,” Trump said in a video response.[2] Speaker of the House Paul Ryan uninvited Trump to a campaign event in his home state of Wisconsin, and Trump held a surprise news conference featuring three women who had previously accused former president Bill Clinton of either sexual assault or harassment, along with a rape victim whose attacker was a former court-appointed client of Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.[3][4] Hours later, during the second presidential debate, the first ever to be aired on Iranian television, Trump announced that should he become president he would appoint a special prosecutor to investigate Clinton’s use of a private email server while Secretary of State.[5][6] Excerpts of paid speeches that Clinton delivered to Wall Street executives but refused to make public were uploaded anonymously to WikiLeaks, including comments about the need for politicians to have “both a public and a private position.”[7] The White House accused Russia of using cyber attacks in an attempt to interfere in the presidential election, and U.K. ministers were banned from wearing Apple Watches in cabinet meetings over fears that the devices’ microphones could be used by Russian hackers to eavesdrop.[8][9] Geologists in Russia reported that the disputed Crimean Peninsula, annexed from Ukraine in 2014, is moving toward their country at a rate of 2.9 millimeters per year, and will reach the mainland in 1.5 million years.[10]

Russian president Vladimir Putin, who turned 64, received 450 birthday roses from his country’s parliament and was awarded a Venezuelan peace prize created in honor of former president Hugo Chávez.[11][12] Colombian president Juan Manuel Santos was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts to end the decades-long conflict with a leftist rebel group, five days after his proposed peace deal was rejected in a national referendum.[13] Civil War–era cannonballs washed up on a South Carolina beach in the wake of Hurricane Matthew, a category-four storm that left 1.2 million people without power and killed 22 residents of the southeastern United States.[14][15] The hurricane killed more than 1,000 people in Haiti, and a U.S. meteorologist apologized for saying that hungry children eating trees was one of the causes of the island nation’s deforestation.[16][17] Saudi Arabia said it “regretted” but did not take blame for an air strike in Yemen that killed 142 funeral attendees, South Sudanese rebels killed 21 civilians in an ambush on several trucks, and Israel refused to guarantee that Irish passports would not be used by the Israeli secret service in future assassination attempts.[18][19][20] The value of the British pound dropped 6.1 percent against the dollar in just two minutes, and vending machines in Australia rejected new five-dollar notes designed to thwart counterfeiters.[21][22] A Syrian refugee suspected of planning a terrorist attack in Germany was captured by fellow Syrians, who invited him back to their apartment, tied him up, and alerted the police through social media.[23] The Islamic State’s Central Fatwa Committee issued a decree prohibiting the breeding of cats indoors.[24]

Oklahoma governor Mary Fallin announced that she would amend the executive proclamation that created Oilfield Prayer Day, inviting people of all faiths, not just Christians, to pray for the oil and natural-gas industries.[25] The Shiyan Lake Ecologic Park in China unveiled its “exciting and adventurous” glass-walled bathrooms, and a public restroom in Virginia was consumed by a sinkhole.[26][27] Officials in Indiana asked motorists for heightened caution during deer-mating season, and snake catchers in Australia observed a rare snake orgy in an empty pool.[28][29] In Germany, the seven-year hunt for the person responsible for slashing inflatable backyard pools ended with the arrest of a 27-year-old man, whose apartment also contained multiple inflatable mattresses. “We cannot rule out that the man has some kind of fetish,” said a police spokesman.[30] A Dutch tourist was sentenced to three months of hard labor in Myanmar after unplugging an amplifier that was broadcasting Buddhist chants because it was disrupting his sleep, and nine Australians were deported from Malaysia for publicly stripping down to their underwear, which bore the country’s national flag.[31][32] A woman suffering from Rapunzel syndrome had a four-by-six-inch ball of her own hair cut out of her stomach.[33] The world’s oldest living man, a Holocaust survivor, celebrated his bar mitzvah at age 113, and scientists concluded that humans will never live past 125. “At some point,” said one of the researchers, “everything goes wrong.”[34][35]

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

Share
Single Page

More from Matthew Hickey:

Weekly Review April 12, 2017, 12:24 pm

Weekly Review

Trump launches a missile strike in Syria, Russia declares Jehovah’s Witnesses an extremest organization, and human flesh is found not to be very nutritious

Weekly Review February 15, 2017, 2:57 pm

Weekly Review

National Security Adviser Michael Flynn resigns, U.S. congressman Dana Rohrabacher announces that Macedonia is not a country, and White House press briefings draw more viewers than The Bold and the Beautiful

Weekly Review August 25, 2016, 4:38 pm

Weekly Review

The Olympic Games end, 500 civilians are killed in Syria, and a study finds that humans are concerned about hurting robots’ feelings

Get access to 167 years of
Harper’s for only $45.99

United States Canada

CATEGORIES

THE CURRENT ISSUE

February 2018

The Bodies in The Forest

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

The Minds of Others

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Modern Despots

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Before the Deluge

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Notes to Self

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Within Reach

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

view Table Content

FEATURED ON HARPERS.ORG

Article
The Minds of Others·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Progress is impossible without change,” George Bernard Shaw wrote in 1944, “and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.” But progress through persuasion has never seemed harder to achieve. Political segregation has made many Americans inaccessible, even unimaginable, to those on the other side of the partisan divide. On the rare occasions when we do come face-to-face, it is not clear what we could say to change each other’s minds or reach a worthwhile compromise. Psychological research has shown that humans often fail to process facts that conflict with our preexisting worldviews. The stakes are simply too high: our self-worth and identity are entangled with our beliefs — and with those who share them. The weakness of logic as a tool of persuasion, combined with the urgency of the political moment, can be paralyzing.

Yet we know that people do change their minds. We are constantly molded by our environment and our culture, by the events of the world, by the gossip we hear and the books we read. In the essays that follow, seven writers explore the ways that persuasion operates in our lives, from the intimate to the far-reaching. Some consider the ethics and mechanics of persuasion itself — in religion, politics, and foreign policy — and others turn their attention to the channels through which it acts, such as music, protest, and technology. How, they ask, can we persuade others to join our cause or see things the way we do? And when it comes to our own openness to change, how do we decide when to compromise and when to resist?

Illustration (detail) by Lincoln Agnew
Article
Within Reach·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

On a balmy day last spring, Connor Chase sat on a red couch in the waiting room of a medical clinic in Columbus, Ohio, and watched the traffic on the street. His bleached-blond hair fell into his eyes as he scrolled through his phone to distract himself. Waiting to see Mimi Rivard, a nurse practitioner, was making Chase nervous: it would be the first time he would tell a medical professional that he was transgender.

By the time he arrived at the Equitas Health clinic, Chase was eighteen, and had long since come to dread doctors and hospitals. As a child, he’d had asthma, migraines, two surgeries for a tumor that had caused deafness in one ear, and gangrene from an infected bug bite. Doctors had always assumed he was a girl. After puberty, Chase said, he avoided looking in the mirror because his chest and hips “didn’t feel like my body.” He liked it when strangers saw him as male, but his voice was high-pitched, so he rarely spoke in public. Then, when Chase was fourteen, he watched a video on YouTube in which a twentysomething trans man described taking testosterone to lower his voice and appear more masculine. Suddenly, Chase had an explanation for how he felt — and what he wanted.

Illustration by Taylor Callery
Article
Before the Deluge·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

In the summer of 2016, when Congress installed a financial control board to address Puerto Rico’s crippling debt, I traveled to San Juan, the capital. The island owed some $120 billion, and Wall Street was demanding action. On the news, President Obama announced his appointments to the Junta de Supervisión y Administración Financiera. “The task ahead for Puerto Rico is not an easy one,” he said. “But I am confident Puerto Rico is up to the challenge of stabilizing the fiscal situation, restoring growth, and building a better future for all Puerto Ricans.” Among locals, however, the control board was widely viewed as a transparent effort to satisfy mainland creditors — just the latest tool of colonialist plundering that went back generations.

Photograph from Puerto Rico by Christopher Gregory
Article
Monumental Error·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

In 1899, the art critic Layton Crippen complained in the New York Times that private donors and committees had been permitted to run amok, erecting all across the city a large number of “painfully ugly monuments.” The very worst statues had been dumped in Central Park. “The sculptures go as far toward spoiling the Park as it is possible to spoil it,” he wrote. Even worse, he lamented, no organization had “power of removal” to correct the damage that was being done.

Illustration by Steve Brodner
Post
CamperForce·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

After losing their savings in the stock market crash of 2008, seniors Barb and Chuck find seasonal employment at Amazon fulfillment centers.

Cost of a baby-stroller cleaning, with wheel detailing, at Tot Squad in New York City:

$119.99

Australian biologists trained monitor lizards not to eat cane toads.

Trump tweeted that he had created “jobs, jobs, jobs” since becoming president, and it was reported that Trump plans to bolster job creation by loosening regulations on the global sale of US-made artillery, warships, fighter jets, and drones.

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

HARPER’S FINEST

Report — From the June 2013 issue

How to Make Your Own AR-15

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

By

"Gun owners have long been the hypochondriacs of American politics. Over the past twenty years, the gun-rights movement has won just about every battle it has fought; states have passed at least a hundred laws loosening gun restrictions since President Obama took office. Yet the National Rifle Association has continued to insist that government confiscation of privately owned firearms is nigh. The NRA’s alarmism helped maintain an active membership, but the strategy was risky: sooner or later, gun guys might have realized that they’d been had. Then came the shootings at a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado, and at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, followed swiftly by the nightmare the NRA had been promising for decades: a dedicated push at every level of government for new gun laws. The gun-rights movement was now that most insufferable of species: a hypochondriac taken suddenly, seriously ill."

Subscribe Today