Weekly Review — July 3, 2018, 11:09 am

Weekly Review

Justice Anthony Kennedy announces his retirement, AMLO wins in Mexico, and Ivanka Trump copresents a report denouncing family separation

Three days after US president Donald Trump called journalists “the enemy of the people” at a rally for South Carolina governor Henry McMaster, a man shot and killed five staff members of Maryland’s Capital Gazette.[1] “Journalists, like all Americans, should be free from the fear of being violently attacked while doing their job,” Trump stated at a news conference the day after the shooting.[2] The Supreme Court upheld the president’s ban on travelers from North Korea, Syria, Iran, Yemen, Libya, Somalia, and Venezuela, and struck down a California law requiring reproductive health clinics to inform patients about the availability of abortion services.[3][4] Justice Anthony Kennedy announced that he would be retiring, and it was reported that, as an executive at Deutsche Bank, Justice Kennedy’s son Justin Kennedy had presided over $1 billion in loans to President Trump, who has publicly referred to Justin as a “special guy.”[5][6]

Far-left anti-corruption candidate Andrés Manuel López Obrador, who has vowed to turn the presidential palace into a public park, was elected president of Mexico with a more than 30-point lead, the largest margin in a Mexican presidential election since 1982; and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a 28-year-old democratic socialist bartender from the Bronx, defeated a ten-term congressman in the Democratic primaries with a 15-point lead.[7][8][9] Ivanka Trump copresented a 68-page report written before the family separation policy was enacted at the State Department’s 2018 Trafficking in Persons Report Launch Ceremony, denouncing family separation as harmful; a federal judge ordered the government to reunite separated undocumented families currently in custody within 30 days; and, ordered to appear alone in court for a deportation hearing, a three-year-old climbed on a table in the middle of proceedings.[10][11][12][13] Taco Bell was named the best Mexican restaurant of 2018 in the Harris Poll, an annual survey originally founded to conduct polling for political candidates.[14]

A new report estimated that, unchecked, climate change would depress the living standards of one in every two Indians by 2050.[15] Parents in Sri Lanka marked the 500th day of roadside protests over the disappearance of more than 60,000 people believed to have been abducted by the government during and after the civil war.[16] A Missouri State University professor stopped soliciting photos of penises for a study on self-esteem, stating that public fervor had compromised the reliability of the survey responses; a former security guard at a CVS in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, was sentenced to four years in prison for taking nude photos of female shoplifters in exchange for not calling the police; and in Madison, Wisconsin, a man attempting to take “upskirt” photos suffered a foot injury when the hidden camera in his shoe exploded.[17][18][19] According to the police chief’s blog, “The subject was counseled on his actions and released from the scene as no illicit video had been taken.”[20]Whitney Kimball

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When I caught up with the Gilets Jaunes on March 2, near the Jardin du Ranelagh, they were moving in such a mass through the streets that all traffic had come to a halt. The residents of Passy, one of the wealthiest neighborhoods in Paris, stood agape and apart and afraid. Many of the shops and businesses along the route of the march, which that day crossed seven and a half miles of the city, were shuttered for the occasion, the proprietors fearful of the volatile crowd, who mostly hailed from outside Paris and were considered a rabble of invaders.

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The Great Kurultáj, an event held annually outside the town of Bugac, Hungary, is billed as both the “Tribal Assembly of the Hun-­Turkic Nations” and “Europe’s Largest Equestrian Event.” When I arrived last August, I was fittingly greeted by a variety of riders on horseback: some dressed as Huns, others as Parthian cavalrymen, Scythian archers, Magyar warriors, csikós cowboys, and betyár bandits. In total there were representatives from twenty-­seven “tribes,” all members of the “Hun-­Turkic” fraternity. The festival’s entrance was marked by a sixty-­foot-­tall portrait of Attila himself, wielding an immense broadsword and standing in front of what was either a bonfire or a sky illuminated by the baleful glow of war. He sported a goatee in the style of Steven Seagal and, shorn of his war braids and helmet, might have been someone you could find in a Budapest cellar bar. A slight smirk suggested that great mirth and great violence together mingled in his soul.

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There has been a proliferation of plazas in the past twenty years, here in New York City but also elsewhere in America, even in Minnesota, where I’m from. Maybe in the zoning laws there is provision for the apportionment of sunshine, or maybe it’s just leftover space waiting to be developed, but here it is, an open ­plaza where people can mingle freely, enjoy face-­to-­face encounters, take a break from Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram—­the national unconscious with its fevers of conspiracy and ancient hatreds and malignity—­and walk out into the fresh air of democracy, where the general looseness—­no security personnel, no ropes, no questions—­testifies to the inherent good manners of one’s fellow citizens. There is no sign reading: your consideration of your neighbors is appreciated. thank you for not engaging in abusive talk or elaborate paranoia. People just behave without being told, as if their mothers were watching them.

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